There have been objections to space programs on the grounds that the money could better be used for problems here on earth. There have been objections to basic research on the grounds that the money could better be usef for practical problems. The money spent on both of these activities is a fraction of the money speent on weapons and armies. These projects benefit us instead of killing us.
Science deals with what can be observed and measured. Religion deals with what cannot be observed and cannot be measured. Religion has nothing to say about the physical world except that it was created by God and it is all very good. Science has nothing to say about the supernatiral, because it cannot measure it.
In 1968 the country was polarized by race and politics. Martin Luther King was murdered. Robert Kennedy, tghe leading candidate for the Democric nomination for president was murdered. Riots broke out in many ciies. There were rios at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. But at least we didn’t have a paresident who seems to be fomenting divisio.