...ground-based optical telescopy is pretty much redundant since Hubble went up, because of that pesky atmosphere being in the way,...
Ever hear of adaptive optics?
Or what about the 3 Extremely Large Telescopes? The 24m and 39m 'redundant' telescopes currently under construction, spending US$1.3B and US$1B respectively? Or the approved 30m at US$1.4B that's about to start construction?
That's a lot of money being spent on something that is nearly redundant.