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What was the purpose too mention the fact that the amount of the population would be on free or reduced lunch? Why dose it matter? Anybody can read between the lines.
The best thing the space program bought us was not a thing! The greatest benefit of both "man-in-space" and unmanned exploration of space were the hundreds of thousands of kids in the '60s and '70s who studied science.
Every single dollar spent on the space program was also spent right here on the ground, where it's needed.
That money gave us reliable weather satellites so we can see when storms are going to hit and batten down the hatches, better bearings and seals to make our cars more powerful and use less gas.
That money gave us dozens of advances in computing, hardware and software. That money gave us sunglasses, smoke detectors, cordless drills. That money gave us pacemakers, much of medical imaging, helped us know how to make things both light and strong, and took air travel from being unsafe and noisy through to the smooth safe cheap comfort of the jet age.
Those hundreds of thousands of kids are now hard at work, making our lives more enjoyable, safer and longer; curing cancer; working to understand and repair our environment; hard at work in the automotive industry inventing the next kind of engine that we'll use in our cars when the oil runs out.
What does going back to the Moon or Mars buy us? Do you want the long list or the very long list?
How about better ways to keep our homes warm in winter and cool in summer while paying less for every power bill?
Better protective clothing for all those hardworking men and women who do the tough jobs to keep this country running. Smart fabrics that have the potential to revolutionize the clothes we wear. Further advances in solar power, batteries, power transmission systems. And, of course, the big one, the search for tiny microbial life on Mars, perhaps hidden in subsurface water, that has the potential to rewrite the book of life, and give us medical insights we can't even begin to imagine.
And it's cheap, folks. NASA gets $60 dollars from the average taxpayer, which works out to $1.25 a week or $0.18 cents per day.
In fact, the total sum spent funding NASA over the past 52 years to date ($458.197 Billon; divided by 52 years, it spreads out to $8.811 billion per year) is less than the $752 billion "stimulus" bill for the Banking, Mortgage and Automotive industries.
It's also less than the $196 billion we flush down the toilet each year in beer consumption (200 million gallons, or 50 billion pints a year at the going Pub rate of $3.87 plus tax per pint).
It's also less than the $100 billion worth of food that we as a nation throw away each year while millions of our fellow countrymen go hungry. Is that NASA's fault? No, but poor thinking and consumeristic spending for the sake of spending is.
We get all the above for $0.18 cents a day that every American spends, through their taxes, on the space program. And that money is spent right here on Earth.
The investment's all here, but the returns are, literally, out of this world.
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