It’s fairly common to encounter friends, strangers — members of Congress — who are impressed by the latest space mission accomplishments, but in the next breath say, “What’s the point anyway?”
I’m sure this has been a question posed throughout the ages about any and every exploration quest whether it was climbing the nearest mountain, venturing across the seas or launching into space. The latest scientific and engineering achievement that captured public attention is the successful arrival of NASA’s InSight Mars Lander. It took several years to develop, nearly seven months to get there, and cost us $850 million. It’s a big deal for several important reasons, and worth all we’ve put into it.