If you’re a reader of this site odds are you already understand just why space exploration is so vitally important. Unfortunately, most of our politicians still don’t get it. So NASA remains underfunded and America’s plans to explore the solar system remain mostly on hold. So it’s up to us to make sure they understand just how much this matters. One way to do it might be by signing a petition.
Normally internet petitions are useless and meaningless, but they’re not quite such an empty endeavor when they’re posted on the White House’s official site. There the Obama administration has set up a way for citizens to petition the administration and get answers to the things they care about. If a petition gets enough signatures, the White House will respond. This petition asks the Whitehouse to double NASA’s annual budget and it needs roughly 18,000 more signatures before the Obama administration will respond.
Doubling NASA’s budget might sound like a tall order, but it’s not. Doubling NASA’s budget would only require the government to spend 1 penny for every dollar the government spends. Currently the US government only spends half a cent.
It’s all part of a new campaign called Penny For NASA, in which people who care have put the pretty reasonable proposal forward that it’s worth a penny on the dollar to send a man to Mars. I agree.
Opponents will no doubt try to point to private enterprise as the way to get space exploration done, but let’s face facts… that’s a long way off. Private companies have yet to even put a man in space, let alone put a man on Mars. It’s not going to happen in our lifetime, left in the hands of private corporations. On the other hand, properly funded NASA could probably get us there within a matter of a few years.
For America to keep innovating and leading, we need to start dreaming again. That’s worth a penny, isn’t it? If you agree sign the petition. It won’t get the government to act, but it will at least send a clear signal to the Whitehouse that maybe it’s time they took space exploration more seriously.