In the department of zany press releases, The Space Foundation, which certifies products as having developed thanks to space exploration, has supplied yet another reason for U.S. taxpayers to keep funding NASA:
Space Helps Coloradans Find Free Beer4th Edition Colorado Beer Map Recognized by Space Foundation for Integrating Space TechnologiesCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 10, 2010 - The Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation has recognized the updated and revised 4th Edition Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado as a certified Space Imagination Product. The map integrates enhanced GPS-enabled measurements into the locations and chart data of fourteener* elevations and incorporates new Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model data into the relief map.The Space Foundation's Space Certification program promotes the practical, life-enhancing benefits of space technology here on Earth.Released last month, the 4th Edition Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado is a large (27" x 39") beautifully printed full-color topo-physical map that "pint-points" the locations of 126 Colorado brewing operations, from bucket brewers to megabrewers spread all across the state. It includes information about beer, including beer styles and tastes, glassware, beer making, lists of historic and notable saloons, bars for beer geeks, homebrewing shops, and detailed facts on every Colorado brewing operation. Colorado travel information includes details on state and national parks, driving distances, local taxi and bus contacts, ski areas, fourteeners, and much more.
I'm not saying topographical, GPS-enhanced free-beer maps are the only reason to keep funding NASA (which accounted for $18.8 billion of the federal budget in 2009 according to the Office of Management and Budget). You can't put a price on human inspiration or faith in the possibility of mankind. But they are a pretty good reason.