Find or Be Found
December 12, 2012
Human history and natural history both tell us these things about exploration: (1) If you explore, you find things, and if you don't explore, things find you; (2) It is better to find than to be found. Just look at the fate of any of the civilizations that were "found" by European explorers in the 15th century. From a more modern perspective, every year medical researchers try to find a vaccine for the latests flu virus before the flu virus finds us. paragraph So even if there is no alien species out there ready to "find" us, there are hundreds of near-Earth asteroids that we very much do not want to get "found" by. The decision on the future of exploration really boils down to this: do we want to find things, or do we want to let things find us?
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.