Since NASA's space probe New Horizons started beaming images of the Pluto back to Earth, astronauts and general space enthusiasts have gotten really excited, but they've also faced plenty of criticism.
While first-time events of this scale are usually welcomed, a lot of eyebrows were raised when the images of the dwarf planet were put in context of the operation's eye-watering cost.
Some questioned why $720 million of taxpayer money was spent on a space exploration mission, which, though exciting, simply relays images back to the Earth.
While opponents were quick to notice the extraordinary outlay of public funds in this case, what they conveniently missed is that the big bucks are also spent almost every year on erecting mega sporting structures.
For instance, the Minnesota Vikings' under construction home, U.S. Bank Stadium, is being built at a cost of $1 billion. That's $280 million more than what the educational/exploratory New Horizons project cost. Moreover, as several sites have calculated, if the total cost of the Pluto probe is divided by the 189,916 kilometers it has covered, then it doesn't even look that bad. It actually comes down to just $0.24 per mile.
But even if the cost is significantly higher than the one estimated above, critics have no business pointing fingers when our governments splash heavy cash on utterly useless projects, year in year out. So, if some gets spent on interplanetary searches that could give us valuable insight about our universe and other planets, then folks should zip it.