So … you know, not to belabor the point. But I just want to be clear, here: I said it’s important. Here, look at the weird colored stripes. Click on them to find out what they mean. Or maybe a hint:
Neil deGrass Tyson recently noted that the 2008 bank bailout was larger than the total 50 history of NASA’s budget. Inspired by that comparison, I decided to look at general science spending relative to the defense budget. How do we prioritize our tax dollars?
And remember, NASA is one of the few government agencies that routinely does its job correctly. Strangely, another is the National Institutes of Health. Actually, one might reasonably complain that their budget is low, but it does creep upward. And there is always discussion to be had about how far is too far, but come on. NASA knows very nearly exactly where to look for life in this Universe. They have a couple places in mind and know within about a thousand miles where to look. And given what might actually be there, they won’t need the thousand. They might need only ten. And the difference between getting there and landing, or just flying around in circles, taking ever-finer photos? Is it worth it?
Is it worth it to know?