It's an oft-repeated question: why should we spend so much money on the space program when we could spend it on more pressing needs here on Earth?
Here's a nice article spelling out the top 15 innovations that have come directly out of research supporting the space program.
Sending humans & spacecraft into an extreme environment is not easy, and lots of new ideas get floated to try and make it a little easier or safer - many of which have application in everyday life.
It's just a shame NASA doesn't get credit for this stuff. As I understand it, any licensing revenue from NASA-invented patents goes to the US Government, probably to spend on pork-barrelling for the next election.