November 26, 2012
I believe, that when humans stop being curious, they stop being humans. The foremost characteristic of the human race is curiosity. It often weighs heavier than even the instinct for self preservation. We must explore. Ourselves, the planet we live on, the Universe we live in. Robots cannot explore, they can only do what we tell them to do. They are very useful, yes indispensable, but they cannot supplant man. How much of the science from the International Space Station would we have, if there were only robots there? The Eagle would have crashed on Mare Tranquillitatis had not Neil Armstrong taken over. The robots scout the path, but man must follow it. - Festina lente: make haste slowly. The Outer Planets won't go away. First we must establish ourselves in space near Earth, and the only possibility I see is a permanent base on the Moon. When that is done, we have developed new and better techniques for existing in space, gained more experience, amassed more knowledge. Then Mars. And then further.
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.