Re: Well done!
never realised space had to demonstrate a profit back then.
NASA (and thus US taxpayers) paid for Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the shuttle, but NASA didn't build those spacecraft. Alan Shepard's first flight was in a Mercury capsule built by the McDonnell Aircraft Company, which was lofted by a Redstone rocket built by Chrysler's aerospace division.
Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong went to the moon in a capsule built by North American Aviation, used a lander built by Grumman Aircraft Company, and launched in a rocket with stages built by Boeing (Saturn IC), North American (Saturn II), and Douglas Aircraft Company (Saturn IVB). Their A7L spacesuits were made by ILC Dover and Hamilton Standard. Launch pad services were supplied by Bendix.
NASA didn't have to show a profit (though it tries to show financial benefits for American taxpayers), but all those private space companies weren't going to the moon "for the exposure." Government cheese like NASA contracts was a good source of profits while the Space Race lasted.