Space Colonization

:: Introduction

Why is deep space exploration and interstellar colonization included in our discussion of future human evolution?   What are the motivations for Interstellar Travel?  How are we going to get there?

Space Colonization

:: Imminent Death

The most obvious reason is that the earth's existence is finite. It may very well be billions of years before the sun burns out or explodes, but it may only be months or years before some extremist regime or fundamentalist group set in motion a chain of events that cause the annihilation of the human race. A natural disaster such as an asteroid impact, or a biological agent could have the same net effect. We must expand beyond one environment to decrease the likelihood that a single catastrophe will cause our extinction.


:: Extraterrestrial Life

In the course of our explorations we hope find evidence of other civilizations if not living members of those societies. The confirmed existence of extraterrestrial life developed independently of our own planet's history will help to provide some additional perspective on fundamental questions like "why are we here?" If we discover that life is ubiquitous, our human-centric perspective will give way to a greater cosmic truth. If on the other hand we are able to confirm, after much exploration that we are indeed alone, that will perhaps have the greater impact.

:: Pure Exploration

We are a race of explorers. We are always on a quest to discover. Space is the final frontier and it is infinite. It is our future because it's in our nature. For society not to be funding deep space exploration is to deny a large part of what makes us human.


:: Economics

However idealistic and valid these other reasons for space exploration are, it may be simple economics that ultimately provides the impetus for our serious, sustained effort at living in extraterrestrial environments.