Research in topics in astrophysics is sometimes criticized for having little direct relevance. To some the research results don’t seem to be worth the costs and the money would be better spent on disease research, child poverty, etc.
The counter to this criticism is that the “end result” of the research may not come for years or decades. There are numerous examples of research that produced benefits far after the actual research was done.
With November 2020 TOK Essay Prescribed Title #4 and this type of research, one could compare the value of a specific long-term research process versus other projects that have quicker end results.