NASA’s last space shuttle launch took place on July 8th, 2011 marking an end to NASA’s 30 year old space program. This isn’t the end of spaceflight for humans, but it is the end of U.S. government funded spaceflight. Regardless of how we decide to make our journey into space it needs to be done in order for us to survive as a species.
“The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in.”
“I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”
“Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring–not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”