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Sierra Curren

Mr. Whitworth

English 12B

23 April 2017

NASAs Governmental Budget

Every year, the Military gets more money than NASA has ever received in its entire

existence. This is a problem. It is important to me that NASA is properly funded and respected:

because I believe in the sciences and want to work at NASA. This is important to you because

NASA has given and is giving so much to you, our country and our planet. This is a feasible and

realistic plan, so something can be done and should be done. NASAs much-needed funding is

faltering, and it needs to be and can be taken care of through the procedures granted us with the

creation of legislation and public advocating.

NASA needs funding in order to continue its invaluable research, scientific and

technological advancements, and employing over 10,000 people a year. NASA has done a lot of

things to benefit humanity; for example, the literal tons of spinoffs that have lead to entire

corporations that employ millions, bicycle helmets and airbags: which have saved lives, air and

water filters that are used in third world countries, and thousands of other such products. It helps

the world by preventatively researching asteroid/meteor attacks, which Congress has asked

NASA to do as a top priority. NASA also greatly helps the economy. Though many people have

tried to calculate the benefit of NASA on the national and global economy, no conclusive studies

have been published. However, even without a published document, it is clear to see that NASA

employees hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly. But the high employment rate
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is nothing compared to the return on investments that NASA produces. Studies have been done

on this as well, and the mathematical results vary from 3-1 to 14-1 (McBrien). Even on the small

end of this range, the money that NASA produces, even though it is not a money-producing

administration, should alone prove that NASA is a worthwhile investment for the government,

the nation, and the world.

However, NASA is not getting the funding it needs and deserves. This is only because the

politics involved in making the annual fiscal budget are over-reaching and extremely biased.

Since the Space Race has long since finished, the government is not seeing NASA as a priority,

and so started decreasing their budget. Once the budget decreased to a certain point, NASA did

not have the resources to keep producing the same attention-grabbing projects, rockets, and

overall developments that they had been making when their budget was higher. This lessening in

flashy-looking projects resulted in a drop in public interest. Then when it came time to reevaluate

the budget, Congress saw the lack of attention, and thought, well, no one seems to care, so we

will keep cutting their budget. This vicious cycle has been going on for almost half a century and

is not harming only NASA, but those persons, families, and corporation that NASA pays to

support its missions and research projects. Through the loss of funding towards NASA, the entire

national economy is suffering.

Having all this in mind, I set out to learn how to fix it. I started my research with the

National Budget; its process, how it is set, when it is decided, and other relevant information. I

then learned about NASAs budget and how much it actually receives compared to other agencies

of the government. I then learned how the budget works, and how the legislature is the only thing

that will permanently fix this problem. However, the legislature does not get passed without

effective advocating, the adoption of the bill into a committee, and the acceptance of the bill into
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law. So, I learned how to effectively advocate for such a bill, and did research on which

congressional committee would have the most luck getting it passed.

From my research, I have discovered a feasible and legitimate way to solve this great

issue. All that is necessary would be to add NASA into the Mandatory Spending budget, taking

just thirty percent of the Department of Educations money that does not currently have a use.

While the annual budget is changed and decided every fiscal year, this usually means that there

are different people from different political standpoints and agendas. This will take politics out of

giving one of the greatest governmental agencies the resources it needs and deserves. Along with

the obvious benefits to NASA, it has been over five fiscal years since the Mandatory spending

fund was reviewed, and it is high time for this to be reevaluated to eliminate waste and limit the

nations deficit. Mandatory spending is like an automatic withdrawal from the government's

budget that happens every fiscal year on a percentage base and uses almost sixty-five percent of

the budget every year (Federal Spending). With President Trumps recent proposal to cut the

Education Department and other programs and agencies, there is a lot of money floating around

that does not have a purpose yet. Within just the education department, that is about seventy

billion dollars. If NASA was given just thirty percent of that, NASAs annual budget would more

than double, and give it an overall two percent of the nations budget at about thirty-nine billion

dollars annually. Its budget for the Fiscal year 2017 was nineteen billion (NASA FY 2017

BUDGET).

The process for this change to occur is actually rather simple. A committee would take it

on, or adopt it and at their discretion present it to Congress. The committee most suited to adopt

and sponsor this bill would be the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives. That

committee would agree to sponsor it and present it to the rest of the Houses where it would be
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debated, then passed/denied. If it passes the House, then it is sent to the Senate for them to

debate. If it passes the Senate, then the President would either sign it or reject it during the fiscal

year funding debate and decision time. If the President signs it, then it is law.

However, In order to have a Committee adopt or sponsor a bill, they have to know about

it first. This means spreading the word and advocating. Knowing this, I started a few steps back.

First, I did overall research on NASA, its budget, the governments budget, and the process for

the legislature. I did this to have solid evidence and reasoning behind my end goal. I then

interviewed a Social Studies and Government professor, Dr. Martin Kokol, to help me with my

bill, advocating techniques, and anything else he could help me with. Using my research and

help from the professor and the internet, I created a bill that would theoretically be passed on to a

committee and presented to Congress. Then, I started with the advocating. I built a website,

found at ABillForNASA.weebly.com, started a petition, and sent emails to my states

Representatives and asked if there was anything I could do to make it more real and accurate.

In conclusion, I found that a problem with NASAs budget existed. As I am personally

invested in this agency, and know that NASA has at least indirectly impacted or influenced

people all around the world, I took my passion for improving its existence and did the work

necessary to find a solution for it, collecting several well-supported facts, reasons, and statistics

that prove beyond a doubt that NASA should receive more money.

I did research on how to change it then took the actions to theoretically do so. I

researched and learned about the national legislative process and how citizens can access that,

then did the same with the National Budget. I also learned about NASAs budget and how it

relates to both budgets. I then interviewed a college government professor and using his help

wrote a bill that could change the way NASA is funded. I then advocated for it like a citizen
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would if it were a real bill or idea for one. Now I have done this for my senior project, but also

for my personal benefit. I truly care about NASA, its work, and its future, and so should you.

You, as a citizen of the United States and as an instructor and influencer of my education, also

have certain responsibilities regarding this project. To start, go to my website, again located at

ABillForNASA.weebly.com, and sign my petition. Read through my research and do whatever

exploring you would like, and I promise you will also see and support this cause. The last part is

easy: simply spread the word. Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about this issue, and how

we can fix it, because this is a legitimate dilemma, and through word of mouth, more people can

learn about it, and feel the need to do something. And if there is anything I want from this

project, it is for this problem to actually be solved in the real world, instead of just on this paper.

Works Cited

"Federal Spending: Where Does the Money Go." National Priorities Project. NPP, 2016. Web.

3 Apr. 2017.

McBrien, Michael. "Government Funding for NASA Should Not Be Reduced Yet." Northeastern

University. NU Writing, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

United States. National Aeronautics and Space Agency. Space Office. NASA FY 2017 BUDGET
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"Wasteful Spending List." U.S. Congressman Bill Posey. Congressman Bill Posey : for the 8th

District of Florida, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017. <http://posey.house.gov/wasteful-spending/>.