My careers have included both the medical and the physical sciences, so I can see that we need both to become an extraterrestrial species. The distances to the planets and the stars are only long in comparrison to the human lifespan. It's time we begin to look at extreme longevty as the ticket to the stars, not just hypervelocity or hybernation. A hundred circuits around our star is not a long life, it is only an unquestioned and arbitrary benchmark. Human biology is the next "technology" space scence needs to pursue. Some organisms are remarkably resstant to radiation damage. We need those genes, others are remarkably resistant to aging, we need those genes too. Neuroplasticity is uncovering vast new mental capabilities we may soon learn how to harness, etc. In short, the new species homo sapiens exraterrestrialis is the next step in human evolution; the change is now in our hands, we can become Mother Nature's next change agent on our own behalf; self-directed evolution is the next step in space travel. Planetside will always be our hearth and home, but just as we once learned how to swim and fly, space is now calling us to master the next alien environment. We're standng on the beach...let's learn how to swim again.
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