Space Settlement

A look at where NASA has been going wrong, and how humans should really view access to space.

Since the sixties, our rationale for human spaceflight has always been described as for “exploration.” “For all mankind.” Star Trek, with its iconic beginning of “where no man has gone before,” did nothing to help. But space exploration for space exploration’s sake can’t justify the billions that we’ve been spending on it, particularly when robots are much more cost effective at it, and we haven’t “explored” anything beyond low earth orbit with humans in almost forty years.

It’s probably just coincidence, but it’s interesting that at the time of this anniversary of “exploration” by Columbus, NASA is slowly starting to take seriously the only viable rationale for human spaceflight — to actually create human settlements in space, for species preservation if nothing else — which is something that’s hard to do with robots.

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