I used to think a long time ago that government efforts were free from the business atmosphere of controling what gets researched by who does the investing. The fact that NASA does very little to support, or drive the impression of, the first "A" in their acronym is bothersome. Now I get the impression that researching things for long-term is not worth short-term gains. While I want to scream, "DUH", NASA's existence should not be about short-term. It shouldn't be run based on the ignorance of investors either; in this case, taxpayers. If someone doesn't understand the point of NASA, they should inform thermselves or stop speaking altogether. No one should form an opinion based on the lack of understanding, it is far from logical and is unfortunately self-sustained.
In this year’s budget and planning documents, the agency’s mission is “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”
While it shouldn't be, it seems to me that government funding is allocated by the stance of each new administration on things. Goals and projects get derailed because of a lack of faith in either the people past-reference or their ignorance on the subject. I mean 'people past reference' as entirely guilt by association. An example could be either going to Mars or making an SST, "if it couldn't be done before, why keep doing it?" It seems to me no one understands the concept/point of research, that nothing is proven unless it is repeated.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.