Some of the obvious important and concrete goals of NASA have to do with scientific research, discovery, application and engineering, but although it cannot be so easily quantified, one could easily argue that whether by design or chance, it is one of the greatest vehicles we have to increase the fecundity of scientific inspiration: NASA's successes inspire new generations of young people to dream big and to work to make those dreams come true, especially in an age when scientific literacy is more needed than ever to solve our technological, social and environmental challenges.
So here is a little bit of inspiration:
And also, thanks to my good friend Harris, I get to share some high-definition footage of Curiosity landing on Mars, captured by Curiosity itself:
And this one is the same thing, but it centers on the heat shield, so it's a lot more stable:
Go create something great :)