Actually there is much more to do on Earth than out in space.
It's two sides of a coin. Luxury and Necessity.
Luxury because the space program absorbs a considerable amount of money away from human beneficial projects such as education, infrastructure and other assorted avenues. On the other hand of that coin, this government spends many times NASA buget in Defense projess that is mostly unnecessary at the current time. The F-16, F-18, F-14 and others were not past there operational lives and are still extremely formidable units as is the Aegis class Destroyer the Enterprise Class Carrier and Los Angelos Class SSN. They all represent a mostly offensive force not a defensive force which is this country's missle shield and GTAM defenses.
Necessary because Earth is far too vulnerable as humanities only home. It's home humanity is actively destroying and it's unclear even now what the long terms effects of our hard-headed demolition of the planet's renewable
resources. I suppose if we can't figure it out here then we don't need to be out there.
Hawking said, humanity should try to expand to Earth-like planets around other stars. If only 1% of the 1000 or so stars within 30 light years of Earth has an Earth-size planet at the right distance from its star for liquid water to exist, that would make for 10 such planets in our solar system's neighbourhood, he said.
"We cannot envision visiting them with current technology, but we should make interstellar travel a long-term aim," he said. "By long term, I mean over the next 200 to 500 years." Humanity can afford to battle earthly problems like climate change and still have plenty of resources left over for colonizing space, he said.
"Even if we were to increase the international [space exploration] budget 20 times to make a serious effort to go into space, it would only be a small fraction of world GDP," he said. GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is a measure of a country's economic activity.
"is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers ... I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space."
Hawking argued that the world can afford 0.25% of its collective GDP to devote to space colonization. "Isn't our future worth a quarter of a percent?" he asked. The physicist also speculated on the reasons that SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) projects have not yet detected any alien civilizations, offering three possibilities: that life of any kind is very rare in the universe; that simple life forms are common, but intelligent life rare; or that intelligent life tends to quickly destroy itself.
"Personally, I favour the second possibility – that primitive life is relatively common, but that intelligent life is very rare," he said. "Some would say it has yet to occur on Earth."
Last edited by Saquist : 06-18-2012 at 06:49 PM.