CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

There’s More To Space Than Freeze-Dried Ice Cream

NASA’s Programs Have Helped Us Understand the Universe—Not To Mention Given Us the Jet Ski

It’s an exciting time to be studying, thinking, and dreaming about space, with the NASA Curiosity rover’s exploration of Mars and the rise of private companies like SpaceX. But as we tighten our belts here on Earth, there have also been questions about whether space exploration is worth an annual investment of billions of dollars. At an event sponsored by the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation at the Petersen Automotive Museum, a panel of aerospace experts talked about what we lose if we don’t go to space—and what we gain by going there.Planetary Society co-founder Louis Friedman said that he’d seen a list on Facebook of the nine things NASA helped bring us—clear braces, UV sunglasses, and hang gliders among them. “I don’t think they got it right,” he said. “To me, what NASA’s brought us is Mercury, Venus, …