Space is a vast desert? I can see your point of view, but I think it is too easy to point to somewhere we've never been and say, "Yeah, there's nothing we need/want over there".
Think about what world we would be living in if we closed down Bell Labs for practical or promised short term payoffs for the investor. I can't really speak for you, but I like what our technological advancements have done for us.. sure there has been bad, but there has also been a lot of really, really good. Healthcare. Faster, safer airplanes. More reliable, faster cars. The internet. Telephones. I would have had 2 less years with my mom if it weren't for all those advances.
I think we need to look beyond the tools we have at our disposal and keep allowing ourselves to dream and discover. Money is, and hopefully will remain, a tool, not an end in life.