Independent

Why does astronomy lack funding?

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Independent

The thought that extraterrestrial life might exist, completely blows my mind. The whole thought of space, completely blows my mind. But do you know what blows my mind even more? The fact that astronomy lacks funding. I mean, astronomy, and the whole thought of colonizing another planet (Mars), is essential for the continuation of the human race. Why does nobody focus on this? Of course, many might argue that we have "bigger fish to fry", but let's face it; we might have bigger fish to fry, but we have to focus on the future. We have to focus on what's really important, and that is survival. It's always been survival, and it always will be. 

What are your thoughts? Should we ditch our defense budget and spend it on astronomy? 

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GTanaka

It really depends upon how you view it.

I would personally love to see more funding towards projects like that, but we'd need to withdraw from every other country we currently occupy. Most of our budget is spent on repairing overworked equipment. There would need to be a couple things done beforehand; 

1.) We'd have to go completely Isolationist. Which means all of our armies would be recalled to protect the borders and coasts. As a result, quite a few soldiers would be discharged, and a lot of the military equipment would be broken down or redistributed.

2.) It would all have to go through Congress, and that can be quite a nightmare. Even more so when you realize we split into a two-party system. Something our second president warned against. Go figure. 

If I'm going to be honest with you, we have the manpower and the knowledge to do anything, but we're held back by this belief of multiple parties. More than likely, you'll never see the day that NASA gets the funding they deserve, because those two groups will be too busy fighting. Now, Trump is... something else, but NASA is getting more exploratory funding because of him.

Just my two cents on that.

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Mastradamus

Generally, all phenomena that originate outside Earth's atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. This means that the objects of interest and study in astronomy includes planets, moons, stars, galaxies, comets and so on. Cosmology is also a part of astronomy since it's involves the study of the universe as a whole. Given this definition, am afraid I'll have to disagree on the opinion that suggest astronomy lacks proper funding. 

Contrary to your question and narration, I think astronomy doesn't lack funding. The fact that you described astronomy as part process of colonizing another planet like Mars further proves my point. I mean, it's no secret that Mars still remains the most explored planet by NASA and other astronomical agencies around the world. To date, there's been a total of 56 Mars mission by NASA alone costing an approximate $660 million dollars. Also, NASA is presently working on a new technology to be launched next year which will see the journey to Mars transition to a matter of weeks. I don't think there's any other branch of science that has gotten this much funding. 

Asides Mars missions, we've also seen actions taken in other parts of space. There's been numerous probe missions to other planets in our solar system. In fact, other missions have gone as far as outside our solar system to explore the remaining milky way galaxy. Am talking about the Keplar mission and other spacecraft telescopes put in orbit to discover Earth like planets and other astronomical objects. I don't know about others, but I think this more than qualifies as proper funding for astronomy, correct me if am wrong. 

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