Our journey begins with the Dark Ages.
The Dark Ages was a period in time following the decline of the Roman Empire where a cultural, and economic deterioration occurred in Western Europe.
During this time texts from classical antiquity were lost or destroyed, but some survived hidden in churches and monasteries in lands to the east.
But by the 14th century many of the surviving classical texts were copied and slowly introduced back into western Europe, starting a momentous movement that inspired a hunger for knowledge and art, and marked the beginning of the Renaissance and the modern age.
Fast forward to today, NASA is the contemporary embodiment and the continuation of the SPIRIT of that movement long ago.
Yet, you might have heard the following statements before, or you might even think them yourself.
First is, “We spend too much on NASA, and we can’t justify that kind of spending right now.”
And Second is “Why spend money on Space when we can spend the money for things here on Earth?”
On the surface, these sentiments are practical and sensible.
But not only is NASA affordable, we can’t afford NOT to spend on NASA…
NASA’s is not even as expensive as you might think.
According to the Huffington Post, there were public opinion polls that showed that Americans on average believe that NASA takes up 20% of the US budget.
But NASA’s budget only takes up .47% of the budget!!!
That’s less than half of a penny of every dollar you pay in taxes.
What about the Apollo Program? How much of the US budget did it take to go to the moon?
Surely it was at least 20% right??
President Kennedy made his famous “We Choose To Go To The Moon” speech in 1962, and we landed on the moon in 1969.
During that span of time, the highest percentage was just 4.4% in 1966....
Let’s go back to that half of a penny of every tax dollar.
Inside that half of a penny lies a nest of economic and technological prosperity!
According to Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University G. Scott Hubbard:
For every dollar we spend on the space program, the U.S. economy receives about $8 of economic benefit!
Based on that estimate, the $19.5 billion spent on NASA last year will eventually amount to $156 BILLION!!
That’s $25 billion more than Amazon’s revenue in 2016.
Okay, so what does this return to the economy look like?
A space program requires pushing the boundaries of what humanity capable of.
And in order to explore the final frontier, NASA must develop technologies in a wide variety of fields.
Since 1964, NASA is mandated by Congress to transfer technology to the private sector.
There are many commercial products and even whole industries that exist because of technology developed by NASA.
NASA calls them Spinoff Technologies, which are commercial products and services which have been developed with the help of NASA, through research and development contracts.
The next time to see a sweet pair of Nike Lebron 15s with those SWEET air pockets, you can thank NASA for that.
You see the technology behind those air pockets was developed by NASA in the early 1980’s, the process was called "blow rubber molding".
After the establishment of the molding process, former NASA Engineer pitched the idea for an air pocket to Nike that led to the Nike Air.