On May 25, 1961 (wow! that's like 50 years ago), the US president established a goal for the nation: put at least one of its citizens on the moon.
I certainly remember all the Apollo missions. I might even almost remember some of the Gemini missions. In any case, JFK got us committed to the goal, and we got there. I tried to watch every Apollo launch. I even drank Tang and snacked on freeze-dried "space sticks" while watching Walter and Wally. NASA and its gadgets and all the ancillary industry and innovation inspired the motto for this website: "I'm glad I was born when I was so I can live in the future." I must have said that in the late '60s. Won't know for sure until what was our family-owned newspaper is properly archived and indexed: Mom published my words in her column (maybe too often) back then.
I'm not particularly interested in trying to use "today's dollars" to calculate the cost of the Apollo missions. I know that would be a big number (and the lives lost perhaps make it incalculable). The bigger number is what the space programs brought back to us and the world. We all profited. I think we were all amazed at the innovation that manifested.
I think we can do something similar again. Might be just as costly, maybe not. We can (we must) change how we regard information. We need to pull it closer to tangibility so that we can measure it, rate it, and improve it. The attempt will beget innovation. The endeavor will generate jobs. We will profit from fading self-delusion and better self-governance.