As an aerospace engineer I’m occasionally asked why we bother with space. Common arguments: it’s expensive, there are more pressing problems on Earth, etc. I agree with Will Pomerantz:1 there is no one answer.
Our universe is enormous; it is mind boggling big and diverse and our reasons for going there are correspondingly large…I don’t think you can give the top-ten reasons we go to space…
I don’t publicly out myself as a utopian and a people-lover…because it’s not my brand. But I’m an idealist, and I love humanity, and I imagine us as all on a ship together and all with a common cause, and Space exploration seems like the ultimate expression of human beings doing their best work. So I imagine he’s bringing it back to us — all of us — something. If we could only share that simple feeling: why do we go up into space? We go up into space to bring back that little tantalizing vision of a borderless space of birds…and boys and girls.
Buy The Commander Thinks Aloud on iTunes.
From his TEDx talk on Leaving our Beautiful Home and Exploring Outer Space) ↩