Warning: This post will pass near to politics, though it is not intended as a political post. Obviously, everything here is a personal opinion, and should not be taken as reflecting anyone else’s position, even that of the Freelancing Teacher. Or even our Freelancing Kitty.
So, today, I saw this:
And I was simply awed by it. I was also saddened, because it’s the end of government run manned spaceflight for awhile, and to an extant, I think this is a travesty.
I know others disagree. The picture itself comes from an article arguing that manned spaceflight is too risky and expensive to continue. Others argue that “we have too many problems at home,” and of course many libertarians (though not all!) believe that privatizing space flight is the next necessary step. I won’t try to argue that it’s not expensive, or risky, or that everything is hunky dory at home. I also won’t argue against a place for private enterprise in outer space either. In fact, I think it’s necessary that space become the domain of everyone, not just governments.
However, at the same time, investing in manned spaceflight is absolutely necessary, and should even be a priority, for one great and scary reason:
We have the ability to avoid the same fate they suffered, or any other planet-wide catastrophe, but only if we can become a “multi-planet species.”
This is not impossible, nor would it be something the US would have to do alone. There have been proposals by the Russians for the US, EU, and Russia to work together on making more permanent outposts, especially on the moon.
You know, I’m not sure I can say this more eloquently than these people:
So, in the end, yes, please continue space exploration!