Space Exploration Should Not be Privatized
PRO (4 arguments)
Right now, Satellites in space can do hundreds of jobs we cannot do from Earth. They transmit TV and phone signals, control satellite navigation systems, and study oceans, pollution, the atmosphere, and a lot of other things we cannot see on Earth. These satellites have helped us with everything from pollution to studying ice sheets. They can even predict the weather. This is because government funded organizations care about making these advancements and helping the people. However, if space exploration were to become completely privatized, these private organizations would be much more focused on making profits. Businesses exist to make profits, and so private organizations would not send satellites into space for the good of the people. Clearly, NASA, a government funded organization, has done a lot of things for the good of the people. The list off NASA spin-off inventions, inventions created because of NASA tools and replacements for normal products, goes on and on. The list includes everything from satellite TV to dustbusters to lighter breathing apparatus for firefighters. NASA also helps study pollution, oceans, and more to make the world a better place. So much technology is here because of things NASA did in space. When we compare this to private companies, we can see a difference. SpaceX, a private company, had a revenue of about 1 billion in 2014. SpaceX, like other businesses, will continue to make a profit in order to continue functioning. When a business ceases to make revenue, they are forced to close down. If we are given a choice between government organizations like NASA that are helping people, and private, profit focused organizations, we should clearly choose government organizations.
If it weren’t for government funded organizations, space travel would not be nearly as beneficial to the overall people. NASA, a government funded space program, has been greatly beneficial to the US and privatizing space exploration would stop this. Clearly, NASA and government funded space organizations are better for the government, the economy, and technology so we should not privatize space exploration and turn space into a business.
NASA, Independent News, The Motley Fool
Since privatized companies do not hold any responsibility to the government, they may not be held accountable for any mishaps. For instance, while the Challenger and Columbia disasters affected NASA’s operations (including an over two year hiatus from launching shuttles), it did not halt the space program. By comparison, private companies actually have a far more difficult set of issues to face in the case of a mishap. In a worst case scenario, a private company could make an easy scapegoat if ever a government’s legitimacy were to be threatened due to a mishap. Private companies have yet to amass significant casualties, with the only death occurring during a failed Virgin Galactic test flight in 2014. But because that flight was not part of a mission to the International Space Station and was not tied to any government contract, the implications were different. If an astronaut from NASA were killed in a launch orchestrated by a private company, there may be far-reaching effects both for NASA and for the company in question.
The impact of having an unsafe way of space travel is that more people are unsafe in space and will die, while private companies suffer more financial losses and fatalities that ruin them and their reputations. Although it is important to keep the space program going, NASA only uses 3.6 billion out of its 18.4 billion dollar budget, and taxpayers money that goes to space travel is 0.5% which means in the future it does have the capability to create better rockets.
Geneva Center for Security Policy, Forbes
NASA was founded in 1958, long before any private companies. To give some examples, SpaceX was founded in 2002, and Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004. NASA has almost 50 years of experience these companies have not had, which is very important when it comes to space exploration. That is 44 years of launching spacecrafts, both successful and unsuccessful, making mistakes, and making discoveries. This experience means that NASA is better at launching rockets, dealing with mistakes, and building innovative rockets and supplies. If we were to privatize space exploration, we would lose NASA and the experience they have, and, to a certain extent, have to start over in space.
NASA has launched over 200 crewed missions, and many more without humans aboard. Most of these missions have been successful, as NASA currently has a 98 percent successful launch rate. To compare, SpaceX has only had 31 Falcon 9 launches, none of which were crewed, with a 94% success rate. Clearly, NASA has done better in space because they have the experience, skill, and success that private companies do not have.
Right now, NASA is by far better at exploring space than any private company. There is no need to privatize spacer exploration completely, because that would get rid of NASA, a leading organization in space exploration.
NASA, popular mechanics
With Nasa getting constant funding because of taxes they are able to work constantly without budget constraints depending on how much they get from taxes. But SpaceX and other private space programs are funded by investors which could drop out at any time and stop the funding of these programs. This could be extremely detrimental to these companies making it so they will have to cut corners the make cheaper rockets which could be dangerous. As of 2015 SpaceX has an evaluation of 12 billion dollars while Nasa has an budget of 19.4 billion dollars. Judge, This is a catastrophic difference between funding and I would like to remind you that SpaceX could lose almost all its funding from investors tomorrow or the next day. Now you may be wondering why having small funding is bad well many SpaceX ships have crashed in the past so smaller funding will make it even easier to crash and have other issues. Less funding means less workers less material and less safe. Also SpaceX doesn’t even have as much funding than NASA making NASA better because they can spend more money to get better workers and materials.
In the end Space X does not have a lot of funding compared to NASA. Also the funders for SpaceX can pull out at any time taking all the money away from SpaceX making it unreliable and making the space ships more dangerous because of cut funding to workers and quality materials.