Picture it and Write: Budget Projections

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write by Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine it is by Juanfer Penagos, I am only using it for inspiration. Anyway, Enjoy.

Budget Projection

So what would be your lunar wish list for the next ten years?

Some more orbiters would be nice. Maybe a lander/rover too.

Are you sure you don’t want something a little more ambitious?

Like what?

Anything manned?

Well sure. I would want a whole series of manned missions. Expeditions to multiple sites, as many science objectives as we can, from the seas to the poles. Not to mention a permanent base.

Are the cosmology guys still interested in the observatory on the dark side?

You mean far side? They’d give their left nut for one. Cuts out all that interference from here.

Why don’t you ask for that?

What? You mean the observatory?

No. I mean all of it. Manned. Unmanned. Base. Everything.

Are you kidding? The cost would be immense.

Give me a figure.

Off the top of my head. 500 Billion over the ten years. And that is a conservative figure.

Are you including using the private companies as much as possible?

Not sure if it would be appropriate but I guess they could only shave five to ten billion off that figure at most. We’ll be using most of that money developing the new hardware we’re going to need.

Hmmmmmm. Fine. We’ll ask for that.

You’re mad. You’re seriously Mad. There is no way that congress will agree to that much money.

They will if you frame it right.

What do you mean?

How is the Chinese program coming along?

You know as well as I do that everything they do is under tight security.

They landed a rover on the Moon didn’t they?  

Yes.

They announced plans for another one as well didn’t they?

They did.

So it would be reasonable to assume that they have further plans for the moon, manned program, base, all that stuff?

Reasonable… But by no means certain.

Keep certainty out of this. Isn’t it reasonable?

Yes.

Well that is what you tell people then.

Why should I do that?

Think about it. You just ask for the science package what do you get? Nothing but hmmms and hawwwws about how we “Cherish Science” But all the time cutting the budget. But if you say “Oh my God! The Chinese are going to be on the moon within the decade!” What do you think we will do. They’ll barely open the purse strings for science but if you start talking about beating those godless heathens. Well, that is a completely different story. They might as well sign a blank cheque.

But. But. It feels like lying.

What are you lying about? You said it was reasonable. You said the Chinese program was very secretive. If we supercharge our program we may very well beat them. Not to mention getting all of this good science and infrastructure built. Won’t it be worth it?

I guess.

Good! You should get some of your guys to write online about the “Chinese Threat” and what it will take to beat them quickly. Make sure they clear it with the press office first though.

Ummmm. Okay.

Good! Now if you will excuse me, I have to talk to the Mars guys next, then the gas giant people. If we share the heavy lift programs we might be able to get this all done for less than a Trillion. Won’t that be a thing?

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