Top 5 – Things NASA Should Focus On Rather Than Mars

I don’t know about you, but I was kind of bummed when NASA decided that the moon wasn’t cool enough to keep going to. I guess it’s like any vacation locale… you go enough times and it just loses it’s luster.

NASA has said it is not focusing it’s efforts on landing on Mars. Mars is awesome and all, but here on the GovLoop team we can’t help but think there are other projects that the brilliant minds at NASA should be focusing on. Here’s our top 5 list.

5.) Trash Reduction – NASA obviously has cool ways of getting rid of waste up in space. It would be advantageous to start applying some of those methods down on the mother planet. Landfill is space anyone?

4.) Clean Water – There’s lots of water on earth and we have people who don’t have clean water to drink… that’s crazy. NASA knows a few things about water filtration (we won’t go into details).

3.) New Air Travel – Airlines are slowing dying or at least not turning profits. NASA knows a thing or two about getting somewhere fast I wonder if they could take a stab at speeding up commercial air travel and or making those flying cars we’ve been talking about since the 80s.

2.) Moon Colony – Maybe it’s just us but it seems like we’re giving up on the moon just to start over again in Mars. We know alot about the moon including that we can get there, why not just go for broke and actually work towards potentially living there or doing something with the accessible space.

1.) Ocean Real Estate – Exploring space is pretty cool but we basically have 75% of our own planet that we aren’t using. I’d rather be able to live under water or have floating communities (besides Venice) rather than in space.

What do you think NASA should be working on?

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Dr Simon Harding

No it should focus on Mars, asteroid exploration and more probes to moons of Jupiter and Saturn. NASA is for space and should stick with it !


Asteroids are an obvious choice: they’re full of valuable minerals, and they occasionally smash into us. I was under the impression that part of NASA’s long-term strategic plan included more asteroid exploration, but I could be mistaken.

Also, you should note that there have been a number of spin-off technologies from NASA innovation, particularly around satellite and weather tech. This post reads like you’re not being serious, but things like 3-5 actually aren’t ridiculous; I’m sure they have some tech breakthroughs that could be developed for the public good.

Ed Albetski

We could start selling lots on the Moon to raise revenue and start some companies to plan communities. Domino’s Pizza seems to have gotten the ball rolling. Even if a Lunar Deed is the paper equivalent of a pet rock, rich folks have been known to spend ridiculous amounts of money on sillier things. A ploy like this is a tax on the stupid, the RICH stupid, and may not be a bad idea in this revenue starved time. A lot cheaper than actually trying to open a mine on Titan, like in the movie OUTLAND. Hmm. The government will retain the mineral rights of course. WE are not stupid…

Jeff Ribeira

In relation to #5, I was just reading about how Earth has a pretty sizable amount of space junk floating around in it’s orbit. As I have never been to space (yet…) I can’t say how hazardous this is to space operations, but it just seems natural that this should be cleaned up a bit. Just get a few huge nets and launch it all towards the sun. Or collect it little by little, bring it back down to earth, and resell it. Like Ed said, some people will pay ridiculous amounts of money for things, so why not space trash?

Personally though, I am actually completely fine with heading to Mars, in fact, I think it’s pretty darn cool.

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

1) Why we should go back to the Moon:

a) Helium 3 – Fuel for fusion reactors

b) Launching facility – The Moon is the perfect place to launch missions to Mars and the outer planets. Water for fuel, plenty of continuous solar energy for power, and the metals needed to construct launch vehicles. Also much easier to launch from because of it’s much shallower gravity well as compared to Earth’s.

c) Safety – Because the current best energy sources for deep-space missions are nuclear, it is better to build and launch the nuclear-powered craft from the Moon rather than risk nuclear accidents on Earth.

2) Planetary Defense – NASA should not only land on asteroid but should research how to move and mine asteroids. It’s only a matter of time till the next asteroid impact so we need plans now for protecting Earth.

3) Energy research – Crash programs for fusion energy and vacuum energy resources.

4) Terraforming technologies – Determine how to turn Mars and Venus into habitable planets for humanity. Our best bet for long-term survival is to become a multiplanet species.

5) Space Elevator – Better alternative to using rockets to climb out of Earth’s deep gravity well.