From NASA's Moon Program to Climate Science, Space Agency Adds Big Boost to the Economy

In the 64 years that it has been a federal agency, NASA has been tasked with a variety of tasks, and overall, it has performed admirably. Obtain the moon before the Soviet Union? Check.

Why not construct a fleet of reusable space shuttles? Check. oversee a 15-nation alliance that constructed the International Space Station, which is the size of a football field? Check.

A very positive thing is that NASA has never been asked to accomplish one thing that it cannot do, which is make a profit.

The money for the space agency flows only one way, out, like it does for every other division of the government.

Additionally, there was a time when Congress was only too willing to write what seemed like indefinite checks to NASA to maintain funding its operations.

The space agency's budget in 1966, at the height of the race to the moon, was $5.9 billion, or $44.8 9 billion in 2022 dollars, or 4.4% of the overall federal budget.