Augustine Commission final summary report

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I didn't read it that way. $3 billion per year is just not that much compared what several Wall Street firms got in the bailout, not to mention trillions squandered in the festering cesspool that is the Middle East.

The actual cost could actually be less (for NASA) if we engaged our ISS partners in the endeavor. If a way could be found to share the cost of development and operations among our partners the cost for each nation would be less than if they were to try to go it alone.
As humans we have always explored, it's what helped us evolve, it is why we left Africa to find the mid east, it's why we left there, to find Europe, it is why we left there, there is America, etc.
Yes, I know wars and other major factors are part of our evolution, but it's exploration that is the key to human knowledge/evolution.
No matter what the cost is, we must explore or wither away, and die!