The Benefit of Space Exploration
December 5, 2012
The original logo of The Panetary Society was an 18th century sailing ship drifting off to explore the realms of space. Don't get me wrong, I love the new logo, but I just mention it to emphasize the spirit of exploration our society represents. The lure of discorvering new places could not be held at bay in days of yore and it cannot be stopped now. It may be delayed. It may be subverted. But the need to explore, and especially to explore space, is intrinsic to human nature and will not be suppressed for long. This is because the rewards of discovery have a very important value. The value of scientific advancements that result from exploration are obvious. Hey, as a kid I got to drink Tang which was developed for the astronauts. But there is an even more important reason. Every new discovery from space exploration gives us the opportunity to ponder the fact that we are all together on this planet as one race, the human race. One world, one people, with one commonality: the family of humanity striving to know its place in the universe. If those ancient sails had never unfurled we could still be divided into many tiny clans and groups each trying to suppress the other. That pale blue dot is your home and mine. We have a common origin and perhaps...a common goal.
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.