Originally posted by AThousandYoung
C, and that's my final answer.
For instance, besides just dude's going to other planets in the solar system, which I understand you think a waste of money, don't forget about weather satellites, GPS satellites, Hubble space telescope, Herschel space telescope, the probes around Mars taking those excellent photos, the landers learning about the real story on Mars, maybe probes down the road proving once and for all there is life on Mars and maybe moons of Jupiter, Saturn and the like.
One big reason to have a presence in space besides the stuff I just mentioned:
It is pretty sure a big asss asteroid killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, with caveats about that asteroid not causing world wide fires and such but delivering a killing blow to an already dying species at the very least. What do you think would happen to modern man if one hit say, downtown NYC, or London, or Paris, or Moscow? Or the middle of the pacific a thousand miles away from anything?
I think you have sufficient imagination to run with that concept. We as a human race, now have or shortly will have, the ability to deflect incoming monsters like the one 65 million years ago and keep it from hitting the Earth, thus keeping us around in spite of the whims of a non-caring universe. If we avoid that bullet from an incoming, all the money spent by all the countries on Earth over the last 100 years on space travel will have been well worth it. To speak of nothing of the first part of my argument. I think your thrust is against manned expeditions to the moon or Mars if I get it right. That is still a small part of the world wide space budget.