As previously reported, SETI, the international organization which handles the search for electromagnetic transmissions from civilizations on distant planets, will shut down soon due to lack of funding. What’s really bothersome is that, although we all know we live in trouble economic times, the cost of keeping SETI going is simply peanuts for the US government or the huge corporations. The cost is $2.5 million – a travesty by all means when you consider the benefits such a project might provide. Imagine, the first contact with an extraterrestrial signal – it would certainly be greatest milestone in human civilization history. Sure, more pragmatic objectives have to be taken into consideration when budgeting, but heck a measly $2.5 million?
If you’re not really sure what $2.5 million really means for SETI, then here’s a really well put together infographic by microcosmologist, which puts into perspective the sum across other sectors of the US budget and other corporations. Click on the image for a larger view.