We are goal-oriented, so the landing is the best fit for importance, IMO. Apollo 1 made it even that much more significant, not to mention the pressure to beat the other guys, which would have indeed had some geopolitical repercussions, no doubt, had we not taken those extra risks. It's amazing that the Saturn had such an impeccable track record.I know the moon landing often gets hailed as the most important mission, but is it really?
Yeah, I completely agree with you. The investment of NASA is enormous. Like you said it has been an investment in space development for 50 years. Frankly to say I am a great fan of NASA and Space X but we should not forget the history of space development and mention the first mission in space where the human took part in. It was a real breakthrough in space science and in space technology. Yes it was not so important like missions NASA has completed but still for that time (1961) that was a fantastic achievement .Go a step back to launch of 1st Sputnik Fall 1957> As a freshman starting college in Munich, Germany, it inspired me to pursue a career in S/C instrument design so when I took a job at RocketDyne in 1964 I was prepared w/a BSME/Design to design an Impulse Load Cell to Calibrate Thrusters of Moon Lander OR no one was going to Dock-In-Space to accomplish the mission, then went on to SBRC (Santa Barbara Research Center) to design MSS MultiSpectralScanner for 1972 LandSat, 1st satelite to scan entire planet Earth, so NASA has almost 50yrs of scientific data on Earth for multiple uses for FREE by scientific community to show levels of pollution & misuse> Use of S/C to manage Earth is arguably the most important mission
For me, the most important space mission is the extraction of minerals and the development of technology. Because now, looking at what is happening in the world, it seems to me that we will not soon fly into space. We are not going for development but for degradation. And it would be cool to extract minerals from a motor trader in space and not on our planet. To transport them is the same number of jobs as much as development and new technologies. And all those chatter about space exploration, the search for new planets is such a delusion, we need to think and take care of our home! Instead of looking for aliens. So I hope that we will still develop and not sit on the Internet)