NASA’s exorbitant budget raises eyebrows

53 years ago, NASA made America prouder than ever and shocked the world by landing the very first men on the moon. Since the 1970s, no space capsule has traveled the same route with humans, but NASA has hopes to try again within the next decade.

They tested their biggest rocket yet just a few weeks ago, sending three test dummies to space inside of it. The rocket, called Space Launch System, is massive and NASA’s most powerful rocket to date. Not only did it take quite some time to construct but also tons of money. The test flight alone cost $4.1 billion, according to AP News.

While this might be very exciting news to some, it does raise some questions, the biggest being why we are spending so much money on space when our planet is dying. Heatwaves, floods and the endangerment and extinction of species is increasing rapidly, so why are we not focusing more on that?

Admittedly, space expeditions are rather interesting, and I’m sure many would love to know more about the unknown that surrounds us. However, we need to be focusing more on what is closer. With temperatures rising and trash piling up in our oceans, the Earth may not make it as long as it was once predicted. Instead of spending money on the exploration of other planets, we can use it to save our own.

$4.1 billion would clean a massive amount of trash from our oceans. There are varying numbers regarding how much it costs to remove one pound, ranging from just $1 to around $20. TeamSeas, a fundraising campaign started by YouTubers Mr. Beast and Mark Rober, states that their “goal is to raise 30 million USD to remove 30 million pounds of trash polluting coastal regions, rivers, and ultimately oceans.”

If even half of this space exploration money went to a cause like this, we could be making such a difference for our planet and not only in oceans. That money could go towards planting trees, making donations to companies to help them become more sustainable, investing in research and much more.

It could even go to making more energy-efficient products like more effective eco-friendly cars. Building rockets to explore space does nothing for our environment, but eco-friendly cars can be the beginning of a long but beneficial journey.

Items like solar panels, which only around 157,000 people out of the 9 million in New Jersey have, cost about $12,500 – $17,000 to be installed. That means that thousands and thousands of solar panels could be installed in New Jersey with the money from the Space Launch System. Around the United States as a whole, numbers would still be quite large and advantageous.

Although space may seem like something we should explore, our planet needs our help first. Instead of searching for one that could possibly be livable, let’s make the one we have now exactly what we need. We definitely have the resources for it, and the billions of dollars spent on the universe is what could kick it off.

Photo courtesy of Wiki.