Driving home in rush hour traffic I thought I heard we are going to send astronauts to lasso an asteroid and park it next to the moon. Hmm. I don’t always listen to the radio carefully when I’m driving my crazy commute. And lassoing an asteroid seems highly unlikely. Maybe they were talking about a movie plot.
After supper I thought I’d see if I could look it up. And what do you know; if you google lasso and asteroid up pops the story which is very interesting. But it makes me wonder.
Do we need to park an asteroid next to the moon so that we can explore it as practice for going to Mars in the 30’s? Do we need to go to Mars? I’m not saying we don’t, just that I haven’t figured out exactly what the long term benefit is for spending this much money.
The radio report said that there is money in the national budget for this program. But there’s no money for mental health issues? No help for people who have been unemployed for months and years? Programs for kids going to bed hungry are getting slashed. So are benefits that many retirees thought they had earned.
Don’t get me wrong. Space exploration is an exciting, sexy topic. It gets attention and is certainly more interesting than stories about budget cuts or sad, confused, hungry people. So I’m open. Tell me why we’re even contemplating this program. I try to see both sides of an argument.
Or are you as incredulous as I am?