I believe the money being used on Space Exploration isn't a waste and should continue to be spent. However, I do perhaps believe the other side of the argument though. It may seem like a lot of money is being spent, But compared to the US's actual budget, Is it actually less than 1%, Whilst things like military are at around 15%. Perhaps money should be taken out of those programmes instead to help the problems down on Earth. We never know when Space Exploration could come in handy. Also, Don't you want to know what's up there? Earth is miniscule compared to the universe, And soon enough more people will be sent up and flown to other planets. It may look like a lot, But in a perspective it is not.
It could be a worthwhile endeavor if they were targeting projects of use to people down here. There have been tons of materials and scientific developments that have come about from space programs. I will say however that they should be much more accountable for the funds they spend. They should have budgets that require them to generate income as well to a degree that very closely offsets their operational costs (that's asking a lot based on the costs they deal with, I know). This is the basis for any financially stable endeavor. I don't think they should be treating the government as their own personal endless supply of money. I don't mind offsetting their costs a little, But I want to invest in something that will pay off in my lifetime … not just give a space shuttle pilot a 6 figure salary to go live up there for a couple months.
You need to focus on your people before you turn to space exploration, Because the people of a country pay taxes, Which benefit the government. If your people are homeless, Jobless, And starving, The people aren’t going to be able to pay the government, And you won’t have the money for space exploration