WHEREAS: The development of space is the best way to help to secure the long-term survival of the human species and its descendants.
WHEREAS: Value consists of relationships between states of affairs and desires.
WHEREAS: Moral value consists of relationships between malleable desires and other desires.
WHEREAS: A great many and strong human desires are tied up in the long-term survival of the human race, from those who simply have a desire that the human species survive, to those who see their own immortality in the survival of the human species, to those who care for the well-being of their children, grandchildren, and so on into the indefinite future.
WHEREAS: A desire to see to the long-term survival of the human race is clearly a desire that would tend to fulfill other desires, so is a desire that people generally have many and strong reason to promote (whether they know it or not).
WHEREAS: A desire to see to the development of space is a way of realizing a state that would fulfill this desire to help to secure the long-term survival of the human species.
WHEREAS: The development of space is a public good, where those who would finance it cannot prevent its enjoyment by those people who would not pay for it, since it cannot deny "survival of the human species" to those who will not pay, will tend to be under-funded to a great degree in the free market.
WHERAS: NASA, as it currently operates, is not so much an instrument for carrying out the development of space as it is an instrument for transferring money from the taxpayers as a whole into the pockets of companies and facilities that reside in the home districts of certain legislators.
WHEREAS: Owing to the fact that NASA is not really about space exploration, its space development projects are constantly and massively behind schedule and over budget.
WHEREAS: The same can be expected of any future space project such as the current plan to build a base on the moon.
WHEREAS: Promoting the long-term survival of the human species is better served by a system that does more with less money than by a system that does less with more money.
WHEREAS: NASA has no ability to exploit other potential sources of revenue such as the commercial value of space property or the commercial value of a space project itself as a form of entertainment for those who would be interested in such a project.
WHEREAS: This inability to exploit other potential sources of revenue means a drain on resources that would otherwise be available to the project of space development.
WHEREAS: NASA is operating under an aversion to the potential loss of human life by those participating in the development of space that is wholly at odds with the nature of this project as one that is inherently risky and one in which such losses need to be taken in stride.
WHEREAS: There is a sufficiently large number of qualified or qualifiable individuals whose desires are such that the quality of their own lives is enhanced, rather than diminished, by an opportunity to participate in a project such as this in spite of (and even because of) the risks that it provides no real-world benefit, and in fact poses a real-world cost, to have such a high concern for the potential loss of life.
WHEREAS: Contests are a proven way of getting a diverse set of teams working towards a particular objective (building the fastest car with the most skilled, flying around the world in a balloon) while it only pays money out to those who are the most successful and wastes no money on those who fail.
WHEREAS: NASA, in spending taxpayer money, should only give its money to those who are successful at accomplishing particular ends, and should not pay for failure, except when there is no way that the government can get private entities to suffer the risk of failure.
WHEREAS: There is a surplus of companies and potential teams willing to risk failure for a chance to participate in a space project, if only they could get financing for those projects.
WHEREAS: The promise of a potential NASA cash award for success would be an important consideration for private investors to contribute money to those teams whose projects show the greater likelihood of success at a lower cost.
WHEREAS: These private teams would have the liberty to acquire corporate sponsorships and tap into sources of revenue that NASA has no ability to tap into in order to better fund their projects without taxpayer expense.
WHEREAS: Competitions such as sporting events have historically proven to have the potential to attract outside revenue.
THEREFORE: For my second birthday wish, I wish to see NASA's project to return to the moon halted and the money offered up instead as a set of prizes for private companies successful at reaching certain space-development milestones. And may the better teams win.