Why Is Space Exploration Is Essential

1173 Words 5 Pages
Space Exploration: Why Privatization is Essential Space Exploration has been a controversial topic since the 1950’s when President Eisenhower approved the first space mission. In the following years, it has become a constant political speaking point on whether the space department really worth the billions of dollars that are spent on it annually or if space exploration is an essential department of the U.S. government. In 2013, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) published “Benefits Stemming from Space Exploration” elaborating on all of the advantages exploration grants the world. The group begins by breaking down the benefits as either “direct or indirect.” Direct benefits including creating markets or inspiring …show more content…
Space exploration has become so politicized the government has lost sight of the original purpose of exploration: to gain knowledge. The ISECG claims, “development of space [is] driven by private sector investments,” increasing missions similar to “space transportation systems, Earth‐orbiting habitats, space tourism and even planetary mining technologies.” Government departments receive budgets that must be passed through congressional meetings. While negotiations are taking place, actual research takes the back burner. Departments like NASA must put their research on hold until they have been approved to proceed. These budget approval processes can take anywhere from a month to a year. If approved, they take a portion of citizen’s income tax and deposit it into the specified department’s budget. This highlights one of the biggest flaws in government regulated space research. Under government control, if a certain person doesn’t want to fund space exploration they are still paying for it through their taxes. With private sector space research, citizens who care about space exploration can make donations to a private institution for any amount at any time. Therefore, allowing research and missions to take top priority within the organizations. Constant funding in private agencies permits research to be done continuously with no interruptions for approval on their …show more content…
Competition within private organizations means these companies will want to create the highest quality “space-related innovations” (“The Privatization of Space: When Things Go Wrong”). This competition in the market ensures that companies will keep producing in order to outperform one another. Once companies have moved into the private sector they “must bid for NASA contracts, which lowers the taxpayer cost of these missions” (“The Privatization of Space: When Things Go Wrong”). Bidding on contracts is a lot less complicated than it sounds. Basically, government space agencies look in the private sector “to build what would be the equivalent of a rental car for space: a privately owned vehicle that the agency would hire to give its astronauts a ride” (Davenport “NASA prepares for giant leap into privatized space travel”). If NASA has multitudes of companies to choose from this guarantees the taxpayers won’t be paying for space missions, and furthermore, this imposes a prime benefit of privatizing space exploration; differences in functionality between government and private space expansion. Within a government department, they are bound to the taxpayers and government regulating what research they can and cannot conduct. In private companies they are tied to their shareholders and investors, which allows for direct funding and helping companies keep their contracts secured (“The

Related Documents