Believe it or not, Lucky Lucy, women spend more on makeup every year than NASA spends on the shuttle. Why don't we make women stop wearing makeup and use that money for world peace, or whirled peas, as you please? At any rate I don't believe we should leave important questions of vast scientific import to people who manifestly do not understand the qustions, or who don't know there IS a set of questions, couldn't comprehend the answers, and don't have a grasp on their relative cost....um, YOU for instance. (Terrorist act. Right. You're right. I saw him through my little telescope just before the explosion. There he was on the shuttle's left wing: Yasir Arafat with a hand grenade from his G.I. Joe set. Terrorist Act. You're missing a career as a standup comic, you know that?) BTW, you can't "predict" something after it's over and then claim you had "insight" it was going to happen. That's a JW trick. Perhaps you should lie down and take some tepid tea till you feel better.
I can agree that after we got to the moon, we lost our way. Shooting people up and down doing experiments on this and that with spiders, spider monkeys, spider rats, crystal growing, etc. is hardly germane science. And we're working on a space station that is a mission absent a purpose.
Personally I agree with Charles Krauthammer: We should establish a permanent presence on the moon. From there we should go to Mars. We will find the answer to questions we cannot now apprehend; we will extend scientific knowledge; we will likely open new fields of science; we may even develop a unified field theory, who knows. We may also make discoveries that lead ultimately to world peace.