Space station has unexpected benefits
Should scientists demand a moon base?
- Duration 5:54
- Date Feb 14, 2012
Should scientists demand a moon base?
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Now we're gonna go to Washington and talk with -- -- who I happen to have a great deal of admiration for because I think he's.
One of the guys who share is part of elite fraternity.
Pat and -- -- true hero because we he has been able to go up to the heavens and beyond.
We have Tom Jones -- former NASA astronaut and also Fox News contributor.
Who's here to talk to us -- about NASA's plan for having an outpost on the moon.
Thompson -- see you.
I am I glad to be with you -- got Wednesday and same thank you so let's talk about this plan to have outpost near the -- what do you think about -- Well I think it's NASA trying to come up with a plan that's affordable.
And doable in the next ten years you know a couple of years ago the president canceled NASA's plans to go back to the moon.
-- he substituted a trip to an asteroid in the mid 2020s.
The current budget that was announced yesterday for NASA and in fact the last two years don't really support.
The steps needed to get to that capability going to an asteroid in deep space -- -- -- NASA's trying to come up with a plan that is doable.
Under the flat budgets that have been proposed by the administration -- that still keeps us going into deep space perhaps not as far as an asteroid.
But allows us to go beyond the moon and start -- really.
Interest thing and -- and and rapid campaign of science in the -- moon vicinity.
But this happened -- having it hello what creative ways to.
And be out there and viable way it it's also very difficult is it not because.
So much of what they would like to do.
It just won't be happening right now and they have to rely on private companies to try to pick up.
Pick up that.
Part of this part of the deal because.
Our budget is -- and allow for it.
By the current budget doesn't seem to be on track to getting us to an asteroid.
And I think it would be or even really tough to do this -- L two outpost on the far side of the moon about 60000 miles above the service surface.
I NASA hopes that it can't entice its international partners from the station space station program.
And bring in the commercial companies to lower the cost of shipping supplies and parts up to this outpost to make this doable but it is gonna require an increase in what we're spending now so.
We're really only on track I think to cede leadership in space to perhaps China in the next ten years we've got to really turn that around.
Yeah I know a lot of people -- like yourself and others are very upset about the fact that.
China may take the lead on this and the fact that the United States seems to be.
You know backtracking in terms of its space ambitions after all we've been the leader for so long.
And having to put so many wonderful ideas on hold.
Is very disconcerting.
It is that we have some very ambitious and good ideas for pursuing science for pursuing commercial development -- -- finding resources and energy out there.
But they really can't get off the ground until NASA has a budget that's at least growing slightly got to put all this in perspective if you look at the entire three point eight trillion federal budget.
NASA gets about.
Eighteen billion -- about half of 1%.
So it's not like -- breaking the budget were causing the deficit problems that we have.
And yes the government needs to scale back its other expenditures but we expect our policy makers at least I do to make priority choice -- to.
Pick the important projects that must go forward and may be perhaps he'd need to be slightly expanded I would say NASA after -- flat budgets for twenty years deserves some of this confidence.
Oh I agree with you a 100% -- -- a huge.
Space exploration supporter and I think that's for too long right now I think what's been going on is also the public.
Does not seem as enthused but to support.
Some of these projects because of the way that they're being.
Presented as opposed to perhaps you know really.
Talking more about the benefits of what this particular.
Project may give.
As as a nation going forward.
What do you think NASA has to do in terms of -- public relations effort to convince the public that these -- tax dollars.
That are well spent in terms of space exploration.
They do need to do a better job at NASA of publicizing the benefits to come out of space for example one development on the space station just announced a couple of weeks ago.
Was a diagnostic tool that allows a -- remotely.
To diagnose conditions on astronauts at the space station or -- remote locations around the -- -- can really lower the cost of consultations with.
An expert physicians.
Down here on earth.
-- NASA has to have a more organized program to get those ideas and discoveries out from the public another one -- a development of a vaccine to treat pneumonia that's been developed with -- search on the space station.
And I think overall we need to get tell the story about how.
Keep us technically competitive in the 21 century keep high tech jobs in this country and inspire young kids to go -- tough subjects like science and math.
And engineering so they can solve a host of problems down here so that's where the real payoff comes it's a real payoff and I don't think we should be scaling back this kind of a challenge to our our society.
What's been -- reception as far as you know within NASA to.
Take the initiative to try and do a better job is public relations campaign.
Before the public.
Other heart is and it but we just signed yesterday's NASA budget announcement that education efforts.
I've been scaled back education and -- Jefferson and scale back so you know you're robbing.
Our investment in the future.
And world not getting the word out about the payoff from these.
Ambitious plans to explore the solar system and universe robotic -- but also.
Have humans involved in staking out new ground in your resources and space and.
So that's the payoff for the next ten to fifteen years -- us tapping into the raw materials and space to increase the wealth in this country.
And that's an important story that has to get out.