NASA is a pretty impressive organization. They are underfunded and underappreciated, undertaking a mission that most of America really can't care less about, and yet they still accomplish amazing feats. Don't start giving me shit about the space shuttle. Is was only designed to work for a limited amount of time and the government extended the program with little more money or mandate. Even though, the shuttle is a pretty amazing piece of engineering.
Anyway, I'd like to point your attention to the Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit. These little guys were slated to land on the planet, take a few photos and then die. Well guess what.. they are still up there working great and that's pretty amazing. These things were engineered really really well and that's a good thing to know. It's good to know that people actually engineer quality products somewhere on this planet (had a good working cellphone lately?).
So, bravo to NASA and the team behind the rovers. If I could allocate my tax dollars I would give it all to you. Hey! That's an interesing idea no? Being able to allocate a portion of your tax dollars to the government agency or program of your choice.. hmn..