Since landing on the moon in July of 1969, very little of significance has been accomplished by NASA. Adjusted for inflation, America has spent $657 BILLION after the moon landing and we have seen precious few results. This year alone NASA has had $19 billion dollars in its budget.
42 years of no vision, no great goals, and failure.
I recommend shutting down NASA completely and redirecting it’s full budget into prizes for achieving specific goals. Here is one potential configuration:
Man on the moon – $2 Billion prize
Man on Mars – $5 Billion prize
Permanent moon base (1 year of a person living there) $4 Billion prize
Permanent Mars base (1 year of a person living there) $10 Billion prize
Each year, another $19 billion will be added to the prize purses to make them sweeter. When a goal is accomplished, we just set a new goal to take its place and assign cash rewards to it.
You would see a huge amount of companies, individuals and non-profit organizations all immediately begin work to achieve these goals and you would have the efficiency gains from the marketplace. Perhaps you could also assign a rule that anyone who wins a prize must release all their intellectual property after gaining it.
Mankind would advance by leaps and bounds.