On May 25, 1961, President John Kennedy urged Congress to consider the national strategic importance of the space race. "If we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny," he said, "...I believe we should go to the Moon." It was the height of the Cold War, and the U.S. and the Soviet Union were locked in ideological opposition, fighting on fronts including the nuclear arms race, the Korean War, and in Vietnam.
In July 1969, NASA achieved Kennedy's goal when Apollo 11 astronauts set foot on the moon. The missions in preparation for this achievement, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, together had cost more than $27 billion of taxpayers' money (roughly $120 billion in 2004 dollars).
Do you think American achievements in space were worth the cost?