I really hate that the Republicans "own" space exploration in this country. The aerospace industry is one giant "make work" program for migrant white-collar workers. So why isn't this massive social program the darling of the Democrats? I really don't get it.
The beauty of a space program is it is inspiring. John Kerry had some idea about a great big government project revolving around energy self-sufficiency. That's a great goal, but it's not sexy. Space exploration is sexy. It captures the imaginations of kids who need a reason to study math and science.
On the road to adulthood, a child's dreams mature. Not everyone who excels in math and science will end up as an astronaut. But they will be prepared for helping to solve energy problems, or designing sustainable water infrastructures, and all the other necessary engineering projects coming up for us.
Because the big, exciting dream was there to start them on the path to their own excellence.