The Pilgrims! The pilgrims had a mission... a mission to explore new frontiers and horizons. The next horizon is in the space above us and it's been calling to us for years. From the beginning of time, we have reached towards the sky. We've researched it, explored it with our technology, and In the coming years, we will find out if we can inhabit these new worlds.
"Questions about space exploration come down to whether we want to bring the solar system within mankind’s sphere of economic influence." Jack Marburger
Michael Griffeth shares the real reasons we explore space outside of economical reasons:
"We humans have, since the earliest civilizations, built monuments. We want to leave something behind to show the next generation, or the generations after that, what we did with our time here. This is the impulse behind cathedrals and pyramids, art galleries and museums.
Cathedral builders would understand what I mean by real reasons. The monuments they erected to the awe and mystery of their God required a far greater percentage of their gross domestic product than we will ever put into the space business, but we look back across 600 or 800 years of time, and we are still awed by what the builders accomplished. Those buildings, therefore, also stand as monuments to the builders.
The return the cathedral builders made on their investment could not have been summarized in a cost/benefit analysis. They began to develop civil engineering, the core discipline for any society if it wishes to have anything more than thatched huts. They gained societal advantages that were probably even more important than learning how to build walls and roofs. For example, they learned to embrace deferred gratification, not just on an individual level, where it is a crucial element of maturity, but on a societal level, where it is equally vital. The people who started the cathedrals didn’t live to finish them. The society as a whole had to be dedicated to the completion of those projects. We owe Western civilization as we know it today to that kind of thinking: the ability to have a constancy of purpose across years and decades.
Ready to explore? Check out Google Sky to explore from here on Earth.