Obvious Reasons First
Part of Why care about space series — These are obvious reasons because they are usually talked about the most.
We need more stuff!
Space exploration could provide an unlimited supply of raw materials as we need to support rapid population growth, coupled with our insatiable need for a better life. Which in the current world translates to the need for better, faster & cheaper electronics built on rare Earth metals.
So research into mining in space could give us a new source for satisfying our needs.
The most compelling for many is the mere viability of our planet. As far as we know life in a hostile Universe is rare & very precious. If humans continue to be a one-planet species we could succumb to some cosmological event. Or even worse, figure out a way to destroy ourselves. War, plague, global warming, or some technology like AI going out of hand.
As species go, humans are quite unique in the understanding of our mortality and yet have the means & enough bravado to cause our own self destruction. Planetary defense can’t save us from ourselves.
So finding another home could be the only way to guarantee our survival.
Taxes & Employment
Public space programs take an even greater scientific & financial risk before any private investments can flow in. So for some, this simple answer might suffice — it’s where your tax dollars go.
Then, space programs support multiple communities spread across the globe. Most recently, the Artemis launch had components designed, built and tested at sites from all 50 US states.
Human ingenuity is important for scientific progress, but unfortunately the most productive catalyst has been conflict. Though the scientific community largely tried to remain neutral, wars would not have had the intended explosiveness without their involvement. Several such cataclysmic events contributed to the creation of our current space programs.
Most important was the V2 rocket from WWII, which served as the blueprint for modern rockets. It also ignited the space race between two superpowers that jostled each other for space dominance.
Now investment in space research is critical for staying ahead of authoritarian regimes.
Chapter 4: Past — We took to the sky
We took to the sky
We took to the skytravellingthroughspace.medium.com
A Sense of Wonder
For most of human history, we gazed at the night sky full of bright spots of light and wondered about their purpose. The best we could do for a while was to use these stars for navigation or to argue about how their alignment controlled our lives. It was only when we zoomed in, that we saw the true beauty of the Universe.
A picture is worth a thousand words —