Exploring Space for mankind
December 10, 2012
I understand that taxpayers money spent on space exploration in these tough economic times need to be well spent with a clear path in mind that would benefit humankind best. At present the most compelling question perhaps is how will a change in earth climate affect human civilization and therefore I fully agree with the Mars exploration programme(unmanned) which is providing a lot of data on another planet and help us understand the climate changes that unfolded on Mars that would teach us a lot on our own planet Earth. A sample return mission is a must! My disappointment is the lack of interest in exploring Venus on the same lines of Mars ( surface missions) which I believe would further test our climate models for Earth. The next step should be exploring the near earth asteroids (possibly a manned mission) in the near future as these could potentially be a source for raw materials. I see a big role for private space companies taking part in what could be the 21st century 'space gold rush'. Such missions should also shed light on how to deal with a potential collision threat from NEO with planet Earth that could wipe out civlization as we know it.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.