NASA: Environmental & economic impacts

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NASA: Environmental & economic impacts

The information gathered by HSR technology is helping Environmental Protection Agenccy (EPA) to develop more effective regulations and guildelines for keeping the air clean.

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Air quality researchNASA observational technology such as the High Spectral Resolution Lidar help tracking and understanding Earth's air-quality. This Lidar device, kind of radar but using laser beams instead of radio waves, is placed on a small aircraft to measure aerosols (=particules in air).

Environmental impacts

Economic impacts

Environmental & economic impacts

BudgetIn general, NASA's budget have been approximatly 1% of Federal budget or below since its creation in 1958. It drastically peaked to 4.41% in the mid-1960s during Apollo program. Then, the percentage of Federal budget dispensed from Congress decreased. In 2012, it was estimated at 0.48% of Federal budget. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, NASA has been allocated $18.01 billion which is more than they requested ($549 more) and $350 million more than 2014 budget.

The impact of rocketsRocket launches pollute the environment beyond our borders. Space travels leave all kinds of debris, such as old batteries, droped components, and human refuse. The number of debris larger than one centimeter currently orbiting Earth are estimated to 500,000 pieces. Really tiny particles are estimated to tens of millions, and can damage sensitive equipment despite their small size.

Alternative energy researchOne of NASA's research is focusing on using principles of life in space to make clean fuel for life on Earth. NASA scientists developed a way of deriving clean fuel from algue. They place semipermeable membranes filled with wastewater in the ocean. Algae would grow in the membranes, taking the nutrients in the waste. With time, it would create biofuels, which will then be absorbed from the bags. The only other factor of the process are oxygen (algae perform photosynthesis).

The economic impact of NASANASA is currently working on partnerships with U.S. companies that can license NASA innovations in order to make improvements in areas such as health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, renewable energy, etc. Many goods and services we take advantage of everyday, commercialized by U.S. Companies were technology innovations developed by NASA (ex: heart defibrillators, GPS, weather and communication satellites, etc.). In fact, since 1976, 1400 NASA innovations moved into the mainstream of U.S. Economy.

NASA's budget compared to other national departments (2014)- Defense (State, homeland security, and Veterans affairs) - $756.4 billion- Health & human services - $73.7 billion- Education - $68.6 billion- Housing and urban development - $32.6 billion- Agriculture - $21.5 billion- NASA - $17.6 billionThen comes departments such as Transportation ($14 billion), Treasury ($12.4 billion) or Department of interior ($11.5 billion).

Pierre-Joseph Mazimpaka


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