In an excerpt from President Obama’s state of the union address, Obama refers to this as “our generation’s Sputnik moment.”
A sharp operator on the Hill points out to me that the total cost of the Apollo program — America’s long-form response to Sputnik — was $25 billion, or $113 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Also known as one seventh of the stimulus bill.
Don’t like that? Okay, how about this: the entire NASA budget from 1958 to 1970 was about $38.5 billion, or about $150 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.
(You can even use NASA’s inflation calculator to do the math!).