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How will Mission To Mars and Survival on The Red Planet Be Achived?

Why should we spend money on NASA when we already have so many problems here on Earth?If somebody asked you this question,how would you answer?It s been nearly five years since I leftBut I came back to NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory today to help answer this tough questionBut before I even get to the five reasons I think we should spend money on NASA I need to clear one thing up. What percentage of the US budget Do you think goes to NASA? According to polls most Americans think it s 20 percent so it should come as no surpriseThat one in four Americans think that NASA s budget should be reduced.If you say the total budget represents a dollar or 100 penniesThe truth is NASA gets less than one-half of one penny.For comparison, 16% goes to the military and 60% goes to social programs like Social Security, unemployment, Medicare and health care.Okay, so if that is our foundationLet me give you five incredible things that we get in return for that half a percent or less than nine dollars a year for most AmericansJust like some might askWhy should we spend time exploring space when we have so many problems here on Earth?

Some of our ancestors probably asked Why should we waste time trying to figure out agriculture when we have so much work to do hunting and gathering?" or"Why should we spend so much time messing around in boats when we have so many issues here on the land?And the answer to all three of these questions is the same:Reaching for new heights often creates new solutions and opportunities for people back on the ground, and I have some personal experience with this conceptAs most of you guys know by now,I spent seven of my nine years here at NASA working on theCuriosity rover in fact some of my hardware is still working like a champ on the top deck of the roverI ll be it a little dirtier since I touched it last but for my last two years hereI worked on a much lesser known project called SMAP and in some waysI m more proud of what it represents because SMAP is a super complex Earth orbiting satellite. Heres how it works.Once its in orbit the antenna boom is deployed and in this 20 foot gold mesh reflectorOrigamis out like one of those Hobermans sphere toys, and then the whole thing starts freaking spinning at 15 rpmAnd it s using a Radiometer that can see through the clouds to measure the soil moisture levels on earthThis is important because soil moisture is one of the key vital signs of the planet.

By measuring the moisture levels in the soil, it allows you to predict droughts,monitor floods and even predict crop yields for a given year and because the antenna spins around like that,you re able to measure all the soil on Earth every two to three days.So I left before it actually launched in 2015,so the reason I am here today is to follow up with some SMAP research scientists to see how things turned outIve been to many countries in Africa. People know about SMAP and the national government of those countries are trying to use it especiallyfor drought especially for crop monitoring. So NASA has a data access policy of you know making it free for everybodyThere are three major cereal crop on the earthwheat, rice and corn. If you can forecast these three major cropsSo you know 70-80 percent of you know forecast you can do the crop field of the whole world. What Narenda is saying here is Remarkable to me, and it sums up my first point perfectly SMAP costs to 900 million dollarsAfrica is the continent with the most extreme poverty today. I did the math and for 900 million dollars

You could feed all of Africa for less than a dayBut instead we invested in research and technology which empowers them to better help themselvesIncreasing the amount of food they can make on their ownFor decades as opposed to a one-time fleeting handout. Of the 37 missions currently running at JPLI think it's so cool that about half are studying and helping earth, just like SMAPThis is a fancy way of sayingWe should be doing everything within our power to make sure that nothing catastrophically bad happens to usHollywood got this right when they said that a large asteroid impact would be really bad news. Now the chances of this happening are smallBut the potential consequences are so large just ask these guysIt makes sense to take it seriously. NASA has already put an asteroid early warning detection system in place and in October2022 for the first time ever they will test ramming aSpacecraft into an asteroid to see if you can deflect it off course with a mission called DART But perhaps an even bigger threat to humans are humansone of the goals of all of the Rovers that we sent to Mars is to gather data on whatIt would take for humans to live thereEstablishing a permanent human outpost on Mars would serve sort of like a backup hard drive for your computer in case something catastrophically badhappened here on earthAmericas first satellite was built here at JPL and now satellites make it so we can get GPSdriving directions on our phone or get TV beamed down to us from space or predict the path of hurricanes with much greater accuracy

The word pixel in the concept of the first digital camera was also invented at JPL in the1960s when an engineer was trying to solve how to get pictures of the planets and send them back to earthIn fact there are nearly2,000 NASA technology spin-offsWe dont know what we don&t know and so expecting NASA to justify its fundingBut predicting all the amazing things it will discover would be likeExpecting Christopher Columbus when he was lobbying Queen Isabella for ships to predict the polio vaccine or NetflixOf the 18 billion that NASA gets it s not like theyre just putting that money on a rocket and launching it into spaceThe Majority of that money goes towards the salaries ofTens of thousands of some of Americas most skilled workers and one of the counter arguments here is yeahBut why do we need the government to fund these programs?Why not let private companies do the innovating? Private space companies like SpaceX or Blue Origin are awesomeAnd they play an important roleBut they re incentivized to pursue technologies that will give them a return on investment like space tourism or asteroid mining or launching satellites for otherorganizationstheres just no incentive for a private company to invest in tracking and Deflecting asteroids or investing in earth science missions like SMAP and then making the dataAvailable for free to anyone who needs it. So to recap for that less than half a penny from a dollarInvestment in NASA, not only do we improve life on Earth through projects like SMAP and protect ourselves against really catastrophicEvents and discover other incredible technologies to improve our lives along the wayBut the money to make all that happengoes back into growing the economy through the salaries of all the smart people doing their work. And my fifth and final reason why weShould spend money on NASA even when we still have unsolved problems here on earth is perhaps the most important even if less concreteThink its captured best by what some call the most important picture ever takenWhat you see here is the result of a 10-day exposure image from the Hubble Deep SpaceTelescope with the exception of these three dots which are single starsEvery speck, smudge, and spiral you see in this image is a galaxy with hundreds of billions of starsJust like our own Milky Way galaxyMost remarkably the field of view captured here is the darkest part of the night sky the size of Roosevelt's eye on a dimeHeld at arms length we send men to the moon and orbiters to Saturn and Rovers to MarsNot necessarily because theres some financial incentive or some quick payoff Were looking to exploit, but because as humans there are fundamental burning questions were eager to answerThe first person to set foot on

Mars is alive right now. They could be in junior high or high schoolHe or she could be watching this video right nowIt could be you I feel that our continued exploration of space in all its formsfills me with hope and inspires me to reach higher and makes me a better personI want to thank Bill and Melinda Gates for teaming up with me on this video if you want to know why they think there s still aCase for being an optimist in today's world even with all the negative headlines you should check out the Bill and Melinda GatesAnnual letter at this optimism stems from facts like the number of children who die every year has been cut in halfso has extreme poverty declining by half in less than twenty years and more children are attending school now than ever before but we reOptimistic not just because we know life used to be worseIt s seeing the positive trend line of all the ongoing work by brilliant folks like at NASA and elsewhereWho are working to improve life on Earth by solving some of the world s toughest challengesI will leave a link to the letter in the video description


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