In a time of rising national debts and cuts in welfare spending, a lot of people believe that continued investment in space exploration is a waste of money. In 2011, NASA received about $18 billion. Although this sounds like a great deal of money, it is only 0.48% of the federal budget, and this number is likely to go down in future years. But there are many reasons why investment in space is a good idea. Firstly, it generates huge amounts of wealth. Thousands of satellites now pepper the night sky, providing everything from GPS to television. Millions of people around the world have jobs, thanks to the aeronautic and space industries.In 2009, the space industry had a turnover of £7.5 billion in the UK alone.
But these are just boring statistics. As the video below shows, there are much more important reasons to encourage investment in space exploration. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first orbit of Earth by a man, a team of designers and researchers decided to launch a weather balloon into space. This is the result:
There’s also a great making-of video on their homepage.