I forget who said it (if Tom Nugent is out there, he will hopefully remind me) that science is not the religion that far right conservatives claim, because if that were the case, science would have a much easier time raising money.
Ironically, while our economy teeters, and a lot of people realize that at least part of this is due to the United States shifting from an industrial build things/learn things society to a financial services society, the budget at NASA for research and exploration continues to get slashed.
In protest, scientists, and science students in Florida have decided to host a bake sale and car wash to raise money for NASA. It undoubtedly will be a token act, but one that shows how far things have slid. When education, research, and exploration take a back seat, people need to realize that there are going to be a lot fewer opportunities coming over the horizon.