Dear Future President
NASA, the first organization to land a man on the moon, is now seriously underfunded by the United States Government. Despite its successful ventures into a place unexplored by man prior to the middle of the 20th century, the program has been neglected and left to work with a small budget. This budget has resulted in many of NASA’s ambitious plans having to be pushed back years
During the space race, government funding for NASA peaked 4.41% of the national budget in the year 1966 (The Guardian). In addition, support towards NASA stayed above the one percent mark until the year 1975 where it dropped to .99 percent (The Guardian). After 1975, funding almost consistently stayed below one percent and has been as low as 0.47 in 2011(The Guardian). 17.863 billion dollars is not enough to meet the needs of a company with such large horizons.
NASA, having many plans centered towards space and its exploration, causes people to forget that NASA has other duties as well. Just looking at the meaning of the acronym, National Aeronautics and Space Association, unveils a part that is often forgotten, aeronautics. One of NASA’s main goals is to improve the technology of airborne vehicles such as airplanes and venturing into new territories to improve the lives of the American people. This goal cannot be achieved when NASA has a budget that is 35 times less than that of the Department of Defense (Miozzi) which is a staggering 582.7 billion dollars (US Department of Defense).
A manned mission to Mars has been on NASA’s agenda not long after mankind had reached the moon. Current projections show that there will be a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. Chris Carberry, the executive director of Explore Mars Inc. says that “While it is possible to launch a manned mission to Mars by the 2030s under pre-sequestration budget levels, a NASA-led human mission to Mars will probably never launch under current budgetary constraints” (Kramer, 5-6). Due to this deficit of funding, NASA is unable to do things such as missions in an attempt to inhabit Mars.
In conclusion, NASA is an underfunded organization which is in need of a raised budget. Not only would this aid in the exploration of space, but also matters of aviation down on earth. If a small fragment of the much larger Department of Defense budget were to be taken and directed to NASA, then projects such as the mission to Mars and innovations in aviation would occur at a greatly increased speed. I hope that after reading this letter you will take into account the thoughts of a concerned student and make an attempt to change the situation for the better.