If we don’t build the land, somebody else will and the science will get discovered. If we don’t explore the moons, somebody else will. It will get discovered. That’s one of the hallmarks of science that distinguishes it from art. In science, if you don’t do it, somebody else will. Whereas in art, if Beethoven didn’t compose the Ninth Symphony, no one else before or after is going to compose the Ninth Symphony that he composed, no one else is going to paint Starry Night by van Gogh. So science, when done properly, is never owned by one nation or another.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson, Competition in Science