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Gov’t wasted $30 billion on ‘pillownauts,’ crystal goblets — buying human urine!
Senator reports catalogues unnecessary spending
Question of the Day
Other wasteful projects included:
⦁ $15,000 to collect thousands of gallons of human urine and test it as a hay field fertilizer.
⦁ $5 million for hand-blown crystal stemware, paid by the State Department, just days before the government shutdown.
⦁ $65 million in Superstorm Sandy emergency relief money that New York and New Jersey spent on television ads promoting tourism.
⦁ $566,000 paid by the U.S. Postal Service to “futurist” Faith Popcorn to envision a viable future for the post office.
⦁ $1.5 million spent by the FBI each year to educate Hollywood producers and writers on how to portray the agency in movies.
⦁ $124,955 to build a 3-D printer to make pizzas for NASA.
NASA was criticized for several other projects, including “pillownauts” — 20 people the agency paid $18,000 each to “spend 70 days lying in bed” with their bodies slightly tilted.
The goal is to study how an astronaut’s body would change in long-term weightless spaceflight, but Mr. Coburn said that was a waste of money given that the agency doesn’t even have plans for manned long-term spaceflight for the foreseeable future.
NASA said its spending is an effort to be ready for future space plans.
“We’re focused on implementing the bipartisan space exploration plan agreed to by the president and Congress that will ensure the United States remains the world leader in space exploration,” said spokesman Allard Beutel. “It’s a plan that invests in game-changing technologies, fosters the success of the commercial space industry, advances research into cleaner and quieter airplanes, unlocks the secrets of the universe and sends American astronauts on missions farther into our solar system than ever before.”
The bed study, or Human Research Program, compensates participants $10 an hour, which NASA said is below the rate of other clinical trials, and is a cost-effective way to study the effects of space travel and how it can decondition the human body.
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About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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