Brandon Schran

Notes:

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I am debating whether or not to write about the controversies behind GMOs, global warming, or another scientific topic. Both of these topics are interesting, but they are not quite what I am looking for. It seems like the arguments involving these topics are fairly well formed, and I want to look into an aspect of an issue that has not been written about or seen as important.

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Introduction:

As an avid learner, I am predisposed to explore the unfamiliar, especially in regards to the fields that I find interesting. The celestial bodies found well beyond the Earth and the information we can decipher from them not only fit into this category, but the data and science pertaining to this topic are always growing–at least for now. Funding for space programs inside the United States is shrinking as I look to see why this may be. My enthusiasm towards astronomical studies have always led me to believe in the importance of space exploration and the unity that it brings to our people, yet throughout my research I shall do my best set these beliefs aside as I determine whether or not it is correct to continue such beliefs.

Important Definitions:

Return on Investment – ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100. The return on investment is a measurement of loss or gain when compared to the amount of money invested. It shows how efficient something is at providing a profit.

Space – The entire volume of the Universe minus the Earth.

Space Exploration – The discovery of objects and scientific material outside of the Earth.

Literature Review:

Most, if not all, opponents of space exploration funding agree that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has accidentally produced more than its fair share of useful technologies like Velcro, memory foam, and smoke detectors, to name a few. But are the failed experiments that become licensed, like these, enough to rationalize any sort of expenditure towards NASA’s main objective of “space exploration?” Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see what else NASA brings to the table when examining the ways in which their budget is used, and government programs do not need to be one-hundred percent wasteful in order to be scrapped for a more useful project.

Examples of NASA’s inevitable losses can be seen as recently as 2009 when the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OBO) cost the administration over 200 million dollars when it fell straight into the Pacific after launch (NASA par. 2-3). Not only does NASA lose large sums of money through failures like these, but it is apparent that the administration’s budget may be allocated incorrectly. In 2011, NASA set aside 43 million dollars to maintain 33 facilities that were found to be underutilized by the inspector general (Cobb par. 1). In 2012, the administration had over 2.3 billion dollars in backlogged maintenence projects that were postponed due to budget issues. Gerard De Groot, author and historian of 20th century history, states, “By 1980 the shuttle program had practically doubled its original budget; today, after three decades and almost $200 billion spent, it has missed almost every budget and performance goal” (De Groot par. 1). Greater than eighty percent of NASA’s facilities are over forty years old and have lost their original use, so the underlying problem may be the age of these facilities and cost of maintenence (Cobb par. 10). However, new constructions are not immune to this inappropriate spending. When the Stennis Space Center was constructed at a cost of 407 million dollars with an annual upkeep of 900 thousand dollars per year, it lost its use when return trips to the moon were cancelled. It now sits along with countless other NASA facilities in hopes that it may regain its use (Cobb par. 4-6). In addition to these instances of financial loss, Americans in general are not eager to fund these irresponsible actions. Just two-in-ten Americans agree that the U.S. spends too little on space exploration (Wormald par. 6).

Whether or not NASA’s use of their budget is correct, the necessity of space travel must be evaluated. NASA’s funding approval rate is evidence that continued space exploration research may not be what the American people want. We are no longer in the 1960s where dreams of reaching the moon have the ability to bring together the entire country.

Works Cited:

Cobb, Douglas. “NASA and the Federal Government Waste Taxpayer Money.” Space Exploration. Ed. Michael Ruth. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “NASA Wastes $43 Million to Maintain Underused Facilities but Is Congress Really to Blame?” Guardianlv.com 21 Sept. 2013. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

DeGroot, Jerry. “The Space Race Is a Pointless Waste of Money.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 25 Feb. 2009. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

NASA. Overview of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mishap Investigation Results. NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

Wormald, Benjamin. “Americans Keen on Space Exploration, Less so on Paying for It.” Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

Part IV:

The United States government will continue to struggle with decreasing the country’s debt as it is projected to break twenty trillion dollars by the end of the 2017 fiscal year. Along with this, politicians maintain with citizens their tax break bribery in hopes that they may elect them leaving only the options of reducing funding towards programs and slashing them altogether. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is one of these such programs. NASA has come under fire recently because of the nature of its purpose. Most government plans have an objective that produces tangible results for its citizens. Unfortunately for NASA, the only tangible things they have given people are memory foam, space blankets, and other spin-off technologies. These facts make it difficult to see the value in NASA, but it must be decided whether their impact is worth an investment by the government.

A majority of proponents to the funding of NASA recognize that the issue of funding itself is a general misconsensus by citizens. Overall, the majority of Americans believe that NASA receives more funding than it actually does (Miozzi par. 1). Over the past couple of years, NASA has received on average 0.5% of the national budget, a percentage that is roughly thirty-five times less than the annual allocation for the department of defense (Miozzi par. 2-3). The portion of one’s income that goes towards NASA is minute, but whether or not one believes their money should go towards adventuring into space, NASA has accomplishments that must be taken into account.

The 1960s were the peak years of NASA. The Apollo missions were introduced and became huge successes, the United States became the first country to put a person on the moon, and many research facilities were constructed (Ryba par. 12-15). All of this was done during the time period in which NASA was allocated the most funds it has ever received (Rogers table 1). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was used to bring United States citizens together during a time of anxiety. The competition with the Soviet Union during the cold war led to numerous advancements and is still in the memories of many citizens. Besides the moon landing, NASA has discovered countless planets, comets, black holes and other important spacial objects. The journey NASA has taken led to many important scientific discoveries.

Even though NASA has accumulated a list of accomplishments, the reasons for persuing such information is enough. As Joseph Mascaro states, “Exploration and discovery are not luxuries that we can do once we have fixed the rest of our problems. They are simply part of our humanity” (par. 7). A majority of Americans believe that NASA and their space exploration missions will distract us from the problems that are more important. Many are found saying, “We need to focus on the problems in our country and on Earth.” This is not the case. In fact, space exploration and its related fields bring humanity closer to the problems that we face. Engineering, energy, and manufacturing have solved countless problems in society and NASA is a flagship in these studies (Mascaro par. 8).

From the beginning of time humans have wondered where we came from, what we are doing here, and what is going to happen. Space exploration is the application of natural human curiousity. Fortunately for us, these studies have led to more than just an appeasement of our interest in the cosmos. The cancellation of funding towards programs like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would be a stab in the backs of all scientists who came before us, searching for the answers to mysteries we did not know existed.  

Works Cited

Mascaro, Joseph. “Humans Should Resume Exploring the Moon and Outer Space.” Space Exploration. Ed. Michael Ruth. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Following Newt to the Moon.” Thespacereview.com 13 Feb. 2012. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010989213/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=e864aee9

Miozzi, CJ. “NASA Should Continue to Receive Funding.” Space Exploration. Ed. Michael Ruth. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Is NASA Worth Funding?” 11 June 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010989207/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=2855c44a

Rogers, Simon. “Nasa Budgets: US Spending on Space Travel since 1958 UPDATED.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 01 Feb. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/feb/01/nasa-budgets-us-spending-space-travel&gt;.

Ryba, Jeanne. “1960s: From Dream to Reality in 10 Years.” NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 29 June 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. <https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/history/timeline/60s-decade.html&gt;.v

Part V:

 

Virgil “Gus” Grissom had earned his position as Command Pilot for Apollo 1. After serving in the Air Force for over thirteen years, through both World War II and the Korean War, Grissom received a message deemed “Top Secret” in which he was instructed to arrive at a location in Washington D.C. wearing civilian clothes. He was selected to accompany 109 other test pilots in learning about Project Mercury and the newly forming human space flight programs. This piqued Grissom’s interest, and he agreed to subject himself to the lengthy and rigorous examinations required to advance (White).

Grissom made sure that if he were not picked, it would be of no one’s fault but his own. He made his way through the physical tests and mental examinations with ease and was satisfied with all but one of his performances. He was a go-getter, a true warrior inside and out, but his determination to succeed in no way hampered his sense of humor. Grissom nearly lost his opportunity with the space program when doctors learned that he suffered from hay fever, but, quickly enough, he explained that this could not possibly be a problem because, “there won’t be any ragweed pollen in space” (White).

Needless to say, Grissom was selected to become one of the seven Project Mercury astronauts. He became the second American to fly in space in his MR-4 spacecraft which he named Liberty Bell 7 “because the capsule does resemble a bell.” During the conclusion of his mission, when Liberty Bell 7 plummeted into the Atlantic, the hatch cover detonated unexpectedly causing the capsule to take on water and begin to sink; however, Grissom had previously removed his harnesses and was able to exit and swim away. Fortunately enough for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Grissom’s spirits did not seem to be affected by this occurence as he became increasingly involved in the next series of space flight programs, NASA’s Projects Gemini and Apollo (White).

As for the Gemini Program, Alan Shepard, the man selected to be commander of its first flight, suffered from severe nausea, vomiting, and dizzy spells and was diagnosed with Meniere’s Syndrome. Grissom did not plan for this to be the way he received his second spaceflight, but he was eager to help his country and his people under any circumstance. This time, he mockingly named his command module Molly Brown, in reference to the broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a nod to the hatch cover incident involving Liberty Bell 7. The mission itself was a success; the crew conducted experiments in their capsule whilst orbiting the Earth three times. Grissom remained on Project Gemini until March 1966 when he was named commander for the first Apollo Earth-orbit mission (White).

Grissom sat in his seat inside the Apollo 1 command module along with his two other crewmates. They were awaiting the start of the “plugs out” test that was vital to making their launch deadlines. Grissom was agitated when communications were not working correctly, and, due to an odd smell, the crew purged the capsule of air and exchanged it with pure oxygen. These were the least of his concerns when one of the crew members moved causing a bundle of uninsulated wires to spark. Exposed wires, 100 percent oxygen, nylon, Velcro, and a hatch door too heavy to open in emergency situations were the perfect conditions for a disaster. “I smell a fire,” said pilot Roger Chaffee. Those in charge of the test tried to ask the astronauts about the situation, but their attempts were futile. “We’ve got a bad fire—let’s get out. We’re burning up” (Apollo). Command heard screams and communications ended. Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger B. Chaffee never came home to their families, the United States citizens, or the government officials awaiting their success (White).

It would take more than 18 months and extensive redesigns before NASA attempted to send men into space again. Today, we face a similar decision, not brought about by the death of astronauts, but by the failure of our government’s financial ability. We look to the situation of Grissom, White, and Chaffee and all others involved with space exploration; did these people sacrifice for the advancement of humanity and space exploration or should they have never been allowed to participate in the first place?

Human exploration has been prevalent throughout history. In roughly 1100 B.C., the ancient Egyptian pharoah Necho II sent a fleet of ships to discover if Africa was surrounded by water. In 310 B.C., Pytheas, a Greek explorer, sailed past the west Britain coast for six days until he reached a land he named “Thule” (most likely Norway) which became known to Greeks and Romans as the most northernly place in the world (“History”, 1). In 1492, Christopher Columbus began his voyage that brought news of an entirely new continent to the civilized European countries (“History”, 2). In 1804, Lewis and Clark set out to explore the land that had been recently acquired through the Louisiana Purchase (“History”, 4). The amount of these explorations is immense, but the reasons behind such expeditions are not. These people, and those who may have sent them on their journies, were driven by a natural human curiosity. Stewart Weaver, author of Exploration: A Very Short Introduction, states, “A true explorer is a traveler that seeks a discovery” (Patenaude). Necho II, Pytheas, Christopher Columbus, and Lewis and Clark were all explorers because their motivations lay in their speculative discoveries. Weaver goes on to say, “For all the different forms it takes in different historical periods, for all the worthy and unworthy motives that lie behind it, exploration—travel for the sake of discovery and adventure—is it seems a human compulsion, a human obsession even (as the paleontologist Maeve Leakey says); it is a defining element of a distinctly human identity, and it will never rest at any frontier, whether terrestrial or extra-terrestrial” (Patenaude). These adventurists were just carrying out the legacy of the billions of humans before them; they went out searching for an answer to a question or for something they believed to exist.

Government funded space organizations are the modern day equivalent to our primal instinct to explore. NASA states that, “Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further.” NASA is the biproduct of the human process of discovery, and although there is still much left to discover here on Earth, space is largely an untouched area and were are, therefore, compelled to search through its depths for the objects and ideas we do not even know to exist.

Unfortunately, many believe that these instinctual feelings should be left behind as society has become less focused on land and power. It is also a common belief that curiosity alone is not profound enough to warrant billions of dollars of spending towards programs that attempt to find what we do not know to exist. Fortunately for us, we can learn from the mistakes of 15th and 16th century Ming China.

Zheng He was selected by the Chinese Emperor Yongle to become commander in chief of his proposed set of missions to the “Western Seas” (Lo). The people of his time saw Zheng He as a divine being in the world of naval expeditions. At the time of his first departure in 1405, Zheng He had 62 ships, many of which were over 400 feet long, and 27,800 men at his disposal (Lo, Gronewald). His fleet dwarfed the 3 ship posse of Christopher Columbus, and so did his discoveries. Zheng He made a total of seven voyages that spanned across the entire globe, many of which the explorers of the time had never accomplished before. He is said to have traveled to the Americas, crossed the Cape of Good Hope, and circumnavigated the world (Lo). Besides this, Zheng He brought riches, spices, and knowledge back to his homeland.

Zheng He died in 1433 and is body was thrown overboard to avoid spreading disease (Lo). The Emperor became weary of voyagers becoming too powerful after Zheng He’s great success. After a long process, the courts decided to ban international commerce in all forms. On top of this, by the end of the 15th century, the emperor ordered that no ships with more than two masts may be constructed, and in 1525 the government declared that all oceangoing ships must be destroyed (Gronewald).

The government destroyed all documents involving Zhong He’s travels as an added precaution for the citizens, and they became no more than a fluant of the Chinese power. The Chinese made others aware of what it is they are capable of doing, but their economic policy clearly showed that they would never accomplish it again. Because of all of this, China lost the technological edge on all of its enemies. Trade was kept strictly a government process as they attempted to fix their internal problems (“Ming”). For 300 years previous, the Chinese expanded their powers into the seas. Their oceanic trade systems seized precious goods including spices, aromatics, and raw industrial materials, which kept their production peaked (Lo). The Chinese were leaders in the realm of sea trade, but they lost it all when the government reverted to isolationism. European countries would soon be successful in the endeavors that the Chinese were prepared for hundreds of years prior (Ming).

Although the benefits to satisfying our appetite for discovery is large, NASA’s budget and finances must be analyzed. Most, if not all, opponents of space exploration funding find it difficult to see the value in NASA when examining the ways in which their budget is used, and government programs do not need to be one-hundred percent wasteful to be scrapped for a more useful project.

Examples of NASA’s inevitable losses can be seen as recently as 2009 when the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) cost the administration over 200 million dollars when it fell straight into the Pacific after launch (NASA). Opponents use failures like these to discredit NASA’s work, yet they fail to realize that they are necessary to make advancements. Besides this, other departments of government experienced losses of greater magnitude. In January 2015, a report that Pentagon officials had asked to be created documented that the Department of Defense (DoD) could save over 125 billion dollars (over six times more than NASA’s total budget) by streamlining bureaucracy (Whitlock). The DoD was found to be essentially wasting this money. This is not an uncommon occurence. In 2007, the DoD sunk over 2 billion dollars into a giant floating radar that does not work as intended and now sits at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Mike Corbe, a retired Air Force colonel, said, “You can spend an awful lot of money and end up with nothing,” describing his experience as the agency’s overseeing weapons contractor from 2006 to 2009, “MDA [Missile Defense Agency] spent billions and billions on these programs that didn’t lead anywhere” (Willman).

Critics also claim that the administration’s budget may be allocated incorrectly. In 2011, NASA set aside 43 million dollars to maintain 33 facilities that were found to be underutilized by the inspector general (Cobb). In 2012, the administration had over 2.3 billion dollars in backlogged maintenence projects that were postponed due to budget issues.

What many fail to see, is that these factors are out of NASA’s control. Underutilized facilities and backlogged maintenence could both be eliminated with a budget increase. These problems require the development of additional jobs which NASA cannot fund with its decreasing budget. NASA provides maintenence for these buildings in hopes that they may finally be able to use them. They have gone to the extent of allowing private companies to use their facilities to support national space activities (Granath). NASA and SpaceX, a private rocket construction company, have signed a property agreement allowing SpaceX to use the historic Launch Complex 39A. “This agreement will preserve this national asset and will enable commercial operations at Kennedy,” said Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center’s director. “We continue to enable commercial operations from the Cape, allowing them to use national assets that would otherwise sit empty and decay.”

Greater than eighty percent of NASA’s facilities are over forty years old and have lost their original use, so the underlying problem may be the age of these facilities and cost of maintenence (Cobb). However, new constructions are supposedly not immune to this inappropriate spending. When the Stennis Space Center was constructed at a cost of 407 million dollars with an annual upkeep of 900 thousand dollars per year, it lost its use when return trips to the moon were cancelled. It now sits along with countless other NASA facilities in hopes that it may regain its use (Cobb). In addition to these instances of financial loss, Americans are not eager to fund these irresponsible actions. Just two-in-ten Americans agree that the U.S. spends too little on space exploration (Wormald).

Except for the fact that these expenditures were not irresponsible… Buildings age and must be restored. We acknowledge this as a natural process. Once again, a budget increase is the solution to this substantial problem as NASA would be able to construct facilities that cost less to maintain. Additionally, in March 2016 the Pentagon reported that nearly 19% of the DoD facilites are in failing condition, a much greater percentage than NASA’s (Serbu).

The reasoning behind the construction and loss of use of the Stennis Space Center was not due to NASA. As stated previously, it only became unproductive when the return trips to the moon were cancelled. In 2011, Barack Obama ended the efforts to send another manned mission to the moon; thus, NASA officials have since searched for an alternative use (Malik).

As for only two-in-ten Americans agreeing that the U.S. spends too little on space exploration, a majority of proponents to the funding of NASA recognize that the issue of funding itself is a general misconsensus by citizens. Overall, the majority of Americans believe that NASA receives more funding than it does (Miozzi). Over the past couple of years, NASA has received on average 0.5% of the national budget, a percentage that is roughly thirty-five times less than the annual allocation for the department of defense (Miozzi). The portion of one’s income that goes towards NASA is minute, but whether or not one believes their money should go towards adventuring into space, NASA’s accomplishments that must be taken into account.

Critics agree that NASA has accidentally produced more than its fair share of useful technologies like Velcro, memory foam, and smoke detectors, to name a few. But are the failed experiments that become licensed, like these, enough to rationalize any expenditure towards NASA’s main objective of “space exploration?”

The 1960s were the peak years of NASA. The Apollo missions were introduced and became huge successes, the United States became the first country to put a person on the moon, and many research facilities were constructed (Ryba). All of this was done during the time period in which NASA was allocated the most funds it has ever received (Rogers table 1). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was used to bring United States citizens together during a time of anxiety. The competition with the Soviet Union during the cold war led to numerous advancements and is still in the memories of many citizens. Besides the moon landing, NASA has discovered countless planets, comets, black holes and other important spacial objects. The journey NASA has taken led to many important scientific discoveries.

Even though NASA has accumulated a list of accomplishments, the reasons for persuing such information is enough. As Joseph Mascaro states, “Exploration and discovery are not luxuries that we can do once we have fixed the rest of our problems. They are simply part of our humanity”. A majority of Americans believe that NASA and their space exploration missions will distract us from the problems that are more important. Many are found saying, “We need to focus on the problems in our country and on Earth.” This is not the case. In fact, space exploration and its related fields bring humanity closer to the problems that we face. Engineering, energy, and manufacturing have solved countless problems in society and NASA is a flagship in these studies (Mascaro).

From the beginning of time humans have wondered where we came from, what we are doing here, and what is going to happen. Space exploration is the application of natural human curiousity. Fortunately for us, these studies have led to more than just an appeasement of our interest in the cosmos.

Two and a half years after the death of Gus Grissom, the success of the Apollo 11 mission changed the world. Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first two humans to step foot on the moon. The United States was a pioneer in the science of space exploration, and Americans came together as they had beaten the Soviet Union in the space race (Loff).

Just as NASA had moved forward through the loss of the Apollo 1 crew, they must not allow their budget to stop their experimentation. Millions of Americans still remember the day America conquered the moon. They were anxious, excited, but most importantly, proud. Nowadays, Americans are much less eager to spend billions on NASA’s proposed missions. There may be more to the story of space exploration funding, but for now, America must come to a consensus. And it may just take another moon landing.

Works Cited

“Apollo 1 Fire Timeline.” NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_01c_Timeline.htm.

Cobb, Douglas. “NASA and the Federal Government Waste Taxpayer Money.” Space Exploration, edited by Michael Ruth, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010989208/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=1ad9d724. Originally published as “NASA Wastes $43 Million to Maintain Underused Facilities but Is Congress Really to Blame?” Guardianlv.com, 21 Sept. 2013.

Granath, Bob. “NASA, SpaceX Sign Property Agreement for Historic Launch Pad.” NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 24 Mar. 2015, http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-spacex-sign-property-agreement-for-historic-launch-pad.

Gronewald, Sue. “The Ming Voyages.” Asia for Educators, Columbia University, afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_1000ce_mingvoyages.htm.

“History of Exploration.” History World. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab90.

Lind, Michael. “Human Spaceflight Should End.” NASA, edited by Margaret Haerens, Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010811209/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=bab228e3. Originally published as “Why We Should Embrace the End of Human Spaceflight,” salon.com, 12 Apr. 2011.

Lo, Jung-pang. “Zheng He.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 16 Dec. 2015, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Zheng-He.

Loff, Sarah. “Apollo 11 Mission Overview.” NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 17 Apr. 2015, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo11.html.

Malik, Tariq. “Obama Budget Scraps NASA Moon Plan for ’21st Century Space Program’.” Space.com, 1 Feb. 2010, http://www.space.com/7849-obama-budget-scraps-nasa-moon-plan-21st-century-space-program.html.

Mascaro, Joseph. “Humans Should Resume Exploring the Moon and Outer Space.” Space Exploration, edited by Michael Ruth, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010989213/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=e864aee9. Originally published as “Following Newt to the Moon,” Thespacereview.com, 13 Feb. 2012.

“The Ming and Qing Dynasties .” vhhscougars.org/files/vhhs/docs/n855/the_ming_and_qing_dynasties.pdf.

Miozzi, CJ. “NASA Should Continue to Receive Funding.” Space Exploration, edited by Michael Ruth, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010989207/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=2855c44a. Originally published as “Is NASA Worth Funding?”, 11 June 2014.

NASA. “Overview of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mishap Investigation Results .” Public Release, http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/369037main_OCOexecutivesummary_71609.pdf.

Patenaude, Monique. “What Drives Humans to Explore the Unknown?” University of Rochester, 27 Feb. 2015, http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/journeys-into-the-unknown-91212/.

Rogers, Simon. “Nasa Budgets: US Spending on Space Travel Since 1958 UPDATED.” The Guardian, 1 Feb. 2010, http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/feb/01/nasa-budgets-us-spending-space-travel.

Ryba, Jeanne. “1960s: From Dream to Reality in 10 Years.” NASA.gov, www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/history/timeline/60s-decade.html.

Serbu, Jared. “Nearly 1 in 5 DoD Facilities Now in ‘Failing’ Condition.” Federal News Radio, 7 Mar. 2016, federalnewsradio.com/defense/2016/03/nearly-one-five-dod-facilities-now-failing-condition-years-maintenance-cutbacks/.

White, Mary C. “Detailed Biographies of Apollo I Crew – Gus Grissom.” NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 4 Aug. 2006, history.nasa.gov/Apollo204/zorn/grissom.htm.

Whitlock, Craig, and Bob Woodward. “Pentagon Buries Evidence of $125 Billion in Bureaucratic Waste.” The Washington Post, 5 Dec. 2016, http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/pentagon-buries-evidence-of-125-billion-in-bureaucratic-waste/2016/12/05/e0668c76-9af6-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html?utm_term=.460a211ab899.

Willman, David. “The Pentagon’s $10-Billion Bet Gone Bad.” Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2015, graphics.latimes.com/missile-defense/.

Wormald, Benjamin. “Americans Keen on Space Exploration, Less So on Paying for It.” Pew Research Center, 23 Apr. 2014, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/23/americans-keen-on-space-exploration-less-so-on-paying-for-it/.

 

 

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. shaben17 says:

    Has scientific literacy gone up or down in our time, and why?

    Like

  2. emilyungerer says:

    I think that this would be extremely intriguing today especially with the lack of education in the United States and how we are not high in certain categories of education. Wondering how being scientific literate correlates with other subjects within education and how to enhance scientific literacy among society?

    Like

  3. I find this to be extremely interesting, especially with the decline of our education system as a whole. What are we able to do as a person in order to increase that scientific literacy? How are we able to be more knowledgable as a human race, outside of education?

    Like

  4. ericksells says:

    This topic is something that needs to be address in education. You’ll often hear people say “schools focus too much on math and science.” Honestly, I think schools do not focus enough. Knowledge of science especially has a huge impact on the world and how we treat it. For example, there are so many legislators that do not believe climate change is real. It is embarrassing, and I hope the future will change for the better.

    Like

  5. aunnacarlson says:

    Does our government use science to influence their decisions? Do scientists just assume that the general public isn’t interested in their studies?

    Like

  6. koecou says:

    Definitely compare American government/society to that of other, more highly-performing countries (in STEM in general). Shaming the reader into motivation would be a really interesting angle.

    Like

  7. The stereotype is always that scientists and mathematicians are boring and lame, and that bothers me

    Like

  8. mulkay says:

    I agree that scientific literacy is extremely important. I don’t know much about trends in scientific literacy, but it would be interesting to see the value society places on scientific literacy.

    Like

  9. I agree that learning hard facts and scientific data to important to developing new technology and enriching the world. But I don’t know very much about what scientific literacy really is.

    Like

  10. I’d be fascinated to explore the issue of vilifying knowledge in general and science specifically, as it seems we are seeing. How does this Post-truth notion play into this as well? I am also interested to see so many people comment on the education system apparently falling apart? Who says? Why do we think this?

    Like

  11. dunnumpaige says:

    Should the blame be placed on someone for our scientific illiteracy?

    Like

  12. burkhardt.carlie says:

    I personally love looking at data and seeing how it has changed over time and what it might bring for the future. I would be very interested in this.

    Like

  13. nollabby says:

    I find this very interesting and I agree that it is important. I feel like our country would be more successful if everyone had scientific literacy.

    Like

  14. katiekrien says:

    First off, thank you for defining it because I would have been on a different page. Second, I would read this piece because I would want an example of how this affected societies problems. Also, it would be fun (but also a bit exhausting) if we all talked very scientifically for a day in classes that are not scientifically based. Experiment right there! Anyways, I love the topic.

    Like

  15. knutsjes000 says:

    This topic seems very interesting. I would like to learn how the scientific literacy of the US compares with that of other countries, and how it has changed in the US (up or down).

    Like

  16. trautmanemily says:

    I wonder if this can be taught in schools more, and maybe starting at a younger age so we can use this more throughout our lives. If so what are ways to teach it?

    Like

  17. huntermolly123 says:

    Why are we not as scientifically literate as we should be? In what ways can we improve that?

    Like

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