Everything we do in space flight affects what we do here on earth. What we do in space affects man’s spirit, mind, brain power, commitment and performance.
— Hubert Humphrey
(Source: The New York Times)
Why bother with human spaceflight, when robots do such a good job and do it so much more cheaply? Proponents of human spaceflight argue that only humans have the supple physical coordination and mental agility to get the most from an expedition. But the most compelling argument for human spaceflight may remain the one that worked at the beginning. Space exploration is ultimately about human dreams.
The United States owned the Louisiana Purchase as soon as Thomas Jefferson bought it from the French, but the first thing he did was send Lewis and Clark to walk the property. It isn’t really yours until you’ve been there, say advocates of human space exploration. “I do not see any need at all to justify human spaceflight on the grounds of what it’s going to do for science. It will do a lot for science, but that’s an ‘oh, by the way,’” [former NASA administrator] Griffin says. “The drive to extend our reach—human destiny—is reason enough to go.”
— Guy Gugliotta
(Source: National Geographic)