55 years ago, NASA was born. In that time, technology has taken absolutely inconceivable leaps and bounds. In honor of all it has done and all it will continue to do, here are our top 5 reasons for loving NASA so very much.
5) The number of experiments done on the International Space Station is absolutely absurd. Thus far, after 9 years, they’re at over 400 experiments from essentially every scientific field you can imagine.
4) Those experiments, as well as past innovations, have had commercial applications and have made all of these things happen. If you don’t want to read the entire list, highlights from the past few years include cochlear implants, tracking systems for endangered species, and major improvements to LASIK eye surgery.
3) The James Webb Space telescope, Hubble’s successor, is so powerful that it can take images of what things looked like 13.4 billion years ago which gives us a better glimpse at the origins of our universe. I cannot properly explain how this works, if you don’t understand and are curious, give this a read.
2) The NASA Education Enterprise is (big plot twist here) the educational arm of NASA. In 2002, the year it launched, it reached over 2 million students in grades K through 12 and 700,000 higher education students through on-site activities providing valuable experiences and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers for little to no cost to the students or school district. They also have an enormous database of completely free educational materials that include crazy things like live video chats with NASA Scientists.
1) NASA achieves all of this and much more while taking up 0.5% of the National Budget. On average, that accounts for about $9 per taxpayer. If you divided up the National Defense Budget into 365 equal payments, one for every day of the year, NASA’s budget would be about 5 days worth.