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Criticisms of NASA

No one can deny that NASA has achieved extraordinary things in its relatively short lifetime. However, NASA is not without its critics. Criticisms seem to come on two fronts:

Critics argue whether or not the benefits of space exploration justify the high cost.
Image courtesy Lockheed Martin Corp/NASA
Critics argue whether or not the benefits of space exploration justify the high cost.
  • Is the high cost of space exploration worth the scientific/economic returns? Scientific and technological advancements cannot always come with a price tag, but rather are invaluable to humanity.
  • Is it worth risking human lives to explore space when expendable robots can do it at a cheaper price in both dollars and human risk? This question has been bantered about since the inception of NASA and there is no definitive answer. Many people feel that the human experience of space exploration is as important and priceless as the mere data that a robot would send back. For example, a geologist on the moon would know more about what rocks to look for and return than a robot.
  • Are we taking unnecessary risks in space exploration? Space is a hostile environment and space exploration will always have dangers. However, NASA is trying to minimize risks where possible and make it as safe as possible.

For lots more information about NASA and related topics, check out the links on the next page.

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Sources

  • NASA
    http://www.nasa.gov
  • NASA History Division
    http://history.nasa.gov
  • Aeronautics Research
    http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov
  • Exploration Systems
    http://exploration.nasa.gov
  • Science
    http://science.hq.nasa.gov
  • Space Operations
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/osf
  • Ames Research Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/index.html
  • Dryden Flight Research Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/home/index.html
  • Glenn Research Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home/index.html
  • Goddard Space Flight Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/jpl/home/index.html
  • Johnson Space Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/home/index.html
  • Kennedy Space Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/home/index.html
  • Langley Research Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/home/index.html
  • Marshall Space Flight Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/home/index.html
  • Stennis Space Center
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/home/index.html
  • Basics of Space Flight
    http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/basics
  • The Vision for Space Exploration
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/exploration/main/index.html
  • 2006 NASA Strategic Plan
    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/142302main_2006_NASA_Strategic_Plan.pdf
  • NASA Fact Sheets on various NASA centers
    http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/factsheet/index.html

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