Solid state electronics also predate the space program. The transistor was invented in 1947, specifically to replace the vacuum tube. With or without NASA, the logical progression of the application of solid state technology *had to* result in VLSI. The evolution from my Hallicrafters Super SkyRider to your cell phone did not require that some guy go whack a golf ball on the moon. Humans are going to invent and refine technology because it's what we humans do and have been doing for longer than we've been able to leave written records about it.
in reply to Re^4: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
in thread The most important near-term goal of a space program:
I probably shouldn't be blaspheming the gods of NASA here... eh, what the heck. Click!