Every single story of the science of astronomy and space exploration gadgetry justifies all the time and money spent on it as just possibly leading to NOTHING but a better guess about how the universe supposedly began. That's all. Just that. Nothing more. So, IF the array of substance we can see plus the area of space it's floating in ISN'T the universe, but just a tiny visible part of an infinite universe, and IF it (the infinite universe) DIDN'T BEGIN but has ALWAYS been here, and IF it doesn't matter much anyway to hopelessly lifebound and earthbound humans, then all that money and time are being wasted on a gigantic wild goose chase.
MY OWN SPACE RESEARCH, for which NO additional tax money (I WAS partially educated in public schools) needs to be misappropriated, tells me that the vast array of visibly twinkling substance within the CURRENT range of our assisted vision is CERTAINLY still only a very small part of an array that exists far beyond our current vision, more but not all of which will become visible if and when we get a better telescope (something, by the way, that we DO NOT NEED).
Furthermore, the substance we can now see can't sanely be assumed to behave ("expand" for instance) as if it were a comprehensive whole magically unified along with the local space it's floating in (!?!?!) by the mere historical circumstance that it's all we can see right now.
If you're slow, I'm unequivocally saying (sorry) that it's actually stupid for verbally (and therefore philosophically) challenged astronomers, probably subconsciously trying to keep the "universe" small enough for their god to manage, to keep calling whatever they can see in each consecutive right now that comes along THE (magically) unified universe.
These same astronomers, not very long ago, before the Hubble Telescope proved their previous best telescopes weren't as all-seeing as they claimed (something that hasn't been publicly chalked up against them), just as presumptuously (or superstitiously) called the much smaller array of substance they could see then (plus the space it floated in) THE universe (on days they weren't calling the Milky Way galaxy THE universe. And their currently most famous claim that the entire universe is expanding as a single unit is demonstrably based NOT on math or "science" but on clearly metaphysical misinterpretation of light phenomena that mean something else. Not all "scientists" are always as objective as you may have been conned into believing.
MY OWN PROPOSITION, not-arithmatic-but-language-based (i.e the highest tech of all) (which may or may not be original but which I'll call mine until I'm told otherwise) is that the universe, being certainly infinite, must therefore take up all the space there is, so that it can NOT expand, because there is no more space into which to expand.
A COROLLARY CERTAINTY (my own, too, but, if you're brain works, you can certainly easily adopt it), is that, while the Milky Way galaxy may be expanding THROUGH empty space (certainly not dragging space with it as a clearly idiot-level metaphysical metaphor, actually taken seriously by some astronomers, comparing space to the surface of a toy balloon - yee gods! - supposedly implies), but verbally based logic (whether currently popular astronomers get it or not) rules that the REST of the now visible universe, along with all the space it occupies (yee gods again!) cannot possibly be expanding with it, and any light phenomena supposedly suggesting that HAS TO BE being misinterpreted - period.
ANOTHER PROPOSITION: (which also may be uniquely and originally my own) While space HAS TO BE infinite, matter does NOT.And there's no maybe about that. It's a self evident fact, the realization and then possession of which may free you from the spell the celebrated astronomers may have cast upon you. It also frees galaxies from any metaphysical trumped-up inter-galaxy bondage and frees the universe from a number of silly rules arbitrarily imposed on it, too. Of course, the laws of physics, which have not been comprehensively written down anywhere, must apply throughout the universe.
MOVING ON NOW, it is not at all unlikely that any (many or most) visible clusters of substance (in and beyond the part of the universe the Hubble Telescope has brought more into line with my theories than with Carl Sagan's) may be independently (SEPARATELY) expanding or contracting. And one such cluster, our own galaxy, may and very likely does KEEP expanding (THROUGH space, obviously)(and obviously without dragging NONsubstantive space along with it) and THEN contracting and THEN expanding and THEN contracting, the motor force being a contest between inertia and "magnetism" (the attraction of matter for matter that nobody understands), which may act as a brake on inertia. In fact, I'll objectively suppose that, as the inertia of each consecutive "big bang" diminishes until its force can be overcome by "magnetism," magnetism reasserts itself and contraction begins and continues until all the local matter is again too dense and "bangs" again - WHILE TIME JUST KEEPS GOING AND SPACE DOESN'T DO ANYTHING BUT EXIST!!!
That's comprehensive, but it leads me to another important collateral theory. I don't know what magnetism is, but it's accepted and it demonstrably is, and it may provide a force that accounts both for, say, half the motion of matter while matter is coming together (while still coming apart in countless sub-contexts) and also for the gathering of matter until its excessive density results in a density-relieving "bang" that then provides a force also accounting for, say, half the motion of matter as it flies apart (while continuing to come together in countless sub-contexts). The semi-perpetual motion of matter thus provided (almost exactly as in a combustion engine) may then bring about all the complexities of conglomerate matter in motion which constitute all the phenomena of life and physics in our galaxy and other galaxies.
So there you have, perfect or not (who cares? As an Earth-bound human, YOU shouldn't), a coherent explanation that acknowledges eternity and infinity, redefines what confused astronomers have weirdly called THE universe as the local regional known PART of the universe, and disposes of any further need for the concepts of gods or "origins," and does not stumble into any such idiocies as the beginning or ending of space or time or the combination of space, time, and substance into a mystical, metaphysical pudding.
You're welcome. Now we can dismantle NASA and use the human and material resources to improve eco-friendly transportation and waste disposal systems on Earth, here and now, the only place and time that matter to the earth-and-life-bound.
See also From Infinity To Here and, starting with the link at the bottom of this page, continue following link after link through a small philosophical universe of other importantly more objective views of very-down-to-earth issues and concepts the embedded media may have been helping you to miss or misinterpret.