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Every so often I hear people asking about why the government funds NASA (in other words, "Why are we putting robots in space when we need to focus on creating jobs here on earth?"). This site does a pretty good job of explaining why: because throwing science as far forward as we can turns out to have some pretty concrete terrestrial benefits, as well.
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Benjamin Tosto's profile photo
 
This is an incredible website. Just like a month ago a friend of mine said something like "I don't get what the point of space exploration is. There are so many problems here on our planet, why are we wasting our resources on looking at other ones?" and I was so apoplectic that I stammered and sputtered and didn't have a very coherent response, but after a couple minutes I recovered myself and said basically "Lots of stuff that NASA made has gone on to benefit society!" and she said "Like what?" and I said "I dunno!?...Rubber pants?!" But now I have some ammo in my space defense bandolier. 
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