Originally posted by Wedge009
I still say there's better uses for those resources here. Don't get me wrong, I love the thought of space travel (I read all about it and astronomy in general as a kid), but there are more important things to look after on terra firma.
That argument has been used a lot. You know, it is unlikely that we would have invented modern micro-electronics anywhere near as soon as we did if it weren't for the space program. No micro-electronics means no personal computers, no cell phones, no hundreds of millions of people surfing the Internet.
Miniaturization of electronics, especially automated computers that could operate without being nursed by a human operator every second of the day, were originally created for use in spacecraft. I seriously think that if there had never been a space program, then desktop computers would still be a thing of the future.
Anyway, my point is that we get more benefits out of having a space program than just the "going where no man has gone before". Thanks to the space program, we now have personal computers, global communications, more accurate weather forecasting, Global Positioning, etc., as well as technologies such as fuel cells, which may one day replace combustion engines in vehicles once they can sell them cheaply enough.