There is so much out there. Even within 30 light-years are star systems such as Gliese 667C, whose habitable zone is literally packed within potential Earth-like planets. Even if they do not host life, there is still reason to explore; future technologies such as terraforming and Miguel Alcubierre's concept for a warp drive would allow humanity to spread out among the stars. I subscribe to Michio Kaku's model for civilizations (ranging from Type 0 to Type 3, with each class more advanced than the last). With ever present dangers, ranging from asteroid impacts from objects like Apophis to nuclear war and environmental disaster, I believe our legacy is to reach out to other worlds; in other words, we should become a Type 1 civilization. So many research opportunities and discoveries lay in store for us, so the only barrier to progress is our limited imagination. Indeed, organizations like the Planetary Society are helping everyone realize what awaits us.
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