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Space Program

Before Congress continues its funding, the manned space program should be forced to justify proposed expenditures in terms of the value of benefits to be realized.

Many earth orbit unmanned space programs can be justified.

Interplanetary probes are harder to justify. Having found that it has nothing of value, I think the Mars issue is closed.

George W. Bush's plan to send a man to Mars can not be justified.  It would be a waste of the projected $16 Billion. When asked to justify this project, a former astronaut who advocated it could only come up with, "Man was meant to explore." 

The argument is made that there were beneficial offshoot technology developments due to the space program - Teflon, Velcro, Tang and the like. If any significant portion of space program expenditures is to be justified by these offshoot inventions, they will have been outrageously expensive.

The proper way to spur technological advances is to set up a program to do specifically that.  Indeed, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense do that now with competitive proposals solicited from small businesses and universities to develop specific technology items.