I see the hashtag #InsteadOfGoingToMars and I think, huh, the budget of NASA is 1/200th of the federal budget, 3% of the military budget, a third of what we spend on just cigarettes… and for that we get the entire Universe. Seems like a damn good deal to me.
— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) February 20, 2021
I don’t think it has anything to do with money. The psychological issue is deeper than that: many people — perhaps even a bare majority — just hate anything unfamiliar or that’s not helping them directly (in their minds). Most people have laser vision on absolute horseshit and can’t think five minutes ahead. The pandemic has demonstrated that incredibly well.