The real “final frontier”

OK, I’m just going to come out and say it. I know I will probably get a lot of flack from some very intelligent people on this, but I hope, at the very least, to have some agree with me.

What’s the deal with space? I don’t get it. Why would companies spend billions to send some people on a one-way trip to Mars?

I have (grudgingly) seen every movie in the long line of Star Trek / Star Wars sagas. Don’t ask me which one has a prequel to the prequel, which one has Luke Skywalker and his evil dad or which one has Captain Kirk with his speech about “Space the final frontier”.

I get it: it’s big, no wait, vast. There is tons to be discovered. There are constellations to be figured out and planets to be conquered. What’s the big deal though?

For me there are two aspects to be considered, two arguments if you will, why we should not even bother.

So much to discover
Planet Earth, our home, has so much to offer, so much to be figured out and discovered. I think we have become just so blasé about what we have, that we don’t notice the opportunities at hand. Is their one person on earth who can tell me that they know every single plant with all it’s uses and health benefits? Any person who have figured out how to create reliable, renewable, cheap and sustainable energy? Anyone who have traveled every inch of the planet, learned every language, understood every culture, practiced every religion?

So much to do
How many people are homeless or hungry?
How many children are illiterate and have no access to schooling?
How many people have no access to running water or inside toilets?
How many people are dying of curable diseases? For that matter, how many people don’t have any access to any medical care whatsoever?
How much is needed for HIV / AIDS or Cancer research?

It is very idealistic to think that we can eradicate poverty or disease, but can’t we at least try – harder? What gives us the right to conquer and invade other planets, when we can’t even manage our own?

When you have done all these things, plus the many more I have not even thought off, come to me. Maybe I will be convinced, but until then I maintain that space is not our final frontier, but humanity is.

Once we can learn and teach tolerance for all race, religion, sexual orientation or background, then I will say we have evolved enough to venture into the unknown that is space.

2 thoughts on “The real “final frontier”

  1. A well-put argument. I hate it when I agree with both sides like this!
    We are constantly spending vast amounts of money which could just as easily be spent on eradicating disease or poverty.
    On the other hand, exploration of space has enabled scientific advances (as spin-off technologies). I think they are also using weightless environments to look at viruses etc., so potential benefits there.
    So which side of the argument am I on and where would I spend the money? I really wish I knew.
    (p.s. the one with Luke Skywalker was Star Wars :-))

  2. Yes, the advantages to space travel are great, but the humanitarian in me just struggle to come to terms with the human suffering being brushed aside in the name of science development. Thanks for the Luke Skywalker one 🙂

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