In the news this week, India has just launched a rocket that it hopes will join the U.S., the Europeans, and the former Soviet Union on the red planet, Mars.
India’s entry into the space race is not a surprise.
The country has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and spent $72 million on the Mars mission. But critics point out that 22 percent of India’s population still lives under the poverty line.
By comparison, when NASA sent the Apollo 11 manned mission to the moon, we had a poverty level of 12.2 percent. But we spent $1.7 billion in today’s dollars on that mission alone.
So why throw your money into outer space?
Because it comes back bigger and fatter!
Experts estimate the U.S. receives between $8 and $14 in economic benefit for every $1 spent on our space program. Industries like aeronautics, modern meteorology, and the internet practically owe their very existence to the space program and research.
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