BTW I errred earlier when I said I never hear of Koch Industries outside this message board. It turns out that David H. Koch is a major contributor to the PBS series "Nova", a documentary series usually on scientific topics. I watch that series regularly, but pay little attention to the credits, so I didn't remember having seen his name there.
NASA is about politics. It was created for political reasons, following the first Sputnik launch, as I recall. It sent men to the moon solely as a way of thumbing our noses at the USSR. It may also serve scientific ends, occasionally, but only incidentally, and only if they don't interfere with the political ends.
Successor agency to the prior National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics subsuming its roles and resources and expanding on them in part for the "preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology". The enabling law and underlying rationales are codified as the "National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958".
Acts of Congress are by definition expressions of the will pf the People through their representatives.