Making a NASA Themselves, The Harvard Crimson
"Why has NASA had such a dismal track record since the Apollo program? Reduced funding tells part of the story. The space program received around $40 billion a year (adjusted for inflation) in the mid-1960s, which was at least four percent of the federal budget. But, back then, Americans also had a much greater tolerance for risk: The first successful Apollo mission was launched just eight months after the three astronauts in Apollo 1 died during testing. NASAs tighter leash today means that riskier programs like nuclear-powered spacecraft dont make it off the drawing board. Ultimately, NASAs 1960s miracles were enabled by widespread public and congressional support fueled by the Cold War race to the moon."