Space exploration has led to the development of new technology that benefits everyone. The science discovered is valuable as knowledge, which may or may not have a practical value. That is the nature of science. The jobs created pay better than a government make-work project, and some of these jobs are privately funded. These missions draw our attention to the bright possibilities of the future in a way that no social program can.
We can argue about the details, but I do recognize the need for the social programs that dominate the federal budget. That being said, if we can pay millions of dollars so that a group of millionaires can play ball in a shiny new stadium, then I think we can afford the technology, science, jobs, and raw inspiration provided by a space mission.
My earliest datable memory is Apollo 16’s launch. If you don’t find space exploration inspiring, the you are missing something beautiful.
Ralph Semmes Jackson III