The latest talk about a $2B outer space project to prove that we can push a rock around in zero gravity is sounding more like an ego trip than prioritized science. The planets and asteroids will be there for a long time for humans to fiddle with. On the other hand, our environment is going to hell in a handbasket.
Space exploration is sexy, and you can argue that we have many byproducts from these huge vague experiments (like orange Tang powdered drink--by the way, when is the last time YOU drank some Tang; and how to take a dump in a weightless atmosphere--and you may have thought that pay toilets were expensive). So we need to be largely satisfied with our progress to date and focus on things closer to where we live. If we manage to stabilize our planet—and it is now out of control—outer space can come later. What matter is outer space if we don’t take care of inner space? It becomes irrelevant, and, other than folly notions about moving to another planet, there seems to be no practical need for these probes for now.
Time to get down to business or be destined to deserve to be dubbed the “Nero Society” –fiddling while the planet sizzled. (no corrections please about the Nero reference—I realize that he probably didn’t even own a fiddle).
And while we are on the subject of outer space, why are we allowed to leave our junk out there? Just like the huge area of the South Pacific where we have giant floating junk yards of human plastic litter, the same mentality is being tolerated in outer space, which has untold pieces of crap simply levitating around.
Imagine what we could do with the $2B if we focused it on the right stuff—like non-carbon energy technology!! Time to get real folks.