The space program has been essentially a military program since inception, and like most military programs it’s been a boondoggle. From George Giles and lewrockwell.com:
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been a non-stop hype machine since its earliest days. When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957 American leaders panicked. If the Commies could launch a beeper the size of a basketball into orbit then thermonuclear weapons the size of a greyhound bus to the U.S. mainland could not be far behind. It seemed that American rockets of the day exploded upon launch or shortly thereafter. A “missile gap” was created overnight wherein the Soviets were vastly ahead of the United States and our annihilation would soon follow. NASA was created to address this issue and suck money from taxpayers exhausted by two decades of war and unwilling to give more money to the War Department, the Defense Department’s honest name. Sixty years later encouraged by President Trump and the silly notion of national prestige there is serious talk on all the obedient media outlets, and the massive funding needed, so we can return to the moon, go to Mars and I guess run around festering in space with silly notions of evening news mentality of democracy. The lie that created NASA continues to this day and it is looking to get a lot more expensive for absolutely no benefit of mankind.
I spent several years working for a NASA prime contractor on the Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) including a year at Cape Canaveral – Kennedy Space Center. Years earlier I had worked as a contractor on the Trident D-5 missile. I spent the better part of a decade as a Lead Engineer and Program Manager in the aerospace/defense sector so I have some level of experience in these things. As was my habit I went to the library studied as much as I could on space technology as soon as I got the job. I found it fascinating as it was the reification of my childhood dream of being an ‘astronaut’. So in a sense I am a rocket scientist, NASA spent millions on my ideas, but all I learned was sad, evil and depressing.