Reasons we should be exploring space

Spiked today publishes an English version of Elisabetta Intini’s concise and accurate summary of 10 reasons we should be exploring space. It’s short and worth a read — ideal as a discussion sparker in a classroom — but in places it is too concise. Her “It inspires younger generations” doesn’t quite get there, and is too narrow and instrumentalist. I might expand it or add another, No.11:

No.11: The mere existence of ambitious programmes of space exploration subtly serves to nudge our various “expected futures” into higher and more aspirational orbits. This is a subtle effect but an important one cumulatively, because how we understand our future shapes how we will act today. Every rocket launch and every data packet that pours into our giant telescopes implicitly rebukes pessimists and other deniers of human potential, and serves to underpin optimistic storytelling about the future.