NASA almost never gets full coverage unless they screw up in a major way. However what they do with their relatively tiny budget is sometimes nothing short of incredible. Their Phoenix Mars Lander successfully landed on our solar system's fourth planet recently with its intricate parts all working in good order.
Phoenix's mission lies in testing the subterranean ice just beneath the surface of Mars' northern hemisphere to see if it at one time supported life. The presence of water on Mars makes an eventual manned landing and colonization much more likely within the next few decades. The Phoenix mission cost $420 million total which actually carries a relatively small price tag compared to other government expenditures. Additionally NASA's research and development usually creates a host of new technological advances for each mission, making the investment well worth the money. We should remember that NASA also employs West Virginians in the Fairmont area.
The day should come this century when the shoestring budgets of NASA are eclipsed by private enterprise as men and women search for economic opportunities in space. The moon and other space objects should contain multitudes of useful minerals. Low gravity manufacturing in a century or so be more cost efficient than that on Earth. Space's potential to benefit mankind is potentially limitless. Future generations will thank the tireless and determined minds now at NASA for their baby steps into the great beyond.