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Space & Astronomy

Is humanity a spacefaring race?

By T.K. Randall
February 28, 2009 · Comment icon 12 comments



Image Credit: NASA
Seth Shostak writes about the future of manned space exploration, unmanned probes and the problems we will face in the future in our efforts to reach distant solar systems and planets.
Seth Shostak: We're destined to go to the stars. That's the assumption we've been making for a century, and I daresay most readers believe this as surely as they believe we'll eventually cure dandruff. Our anticipation of an interstellar destiny is not merely the consequence of too many couch-hours spent watching Spandex-suited astronauts in Star Trek, Star Wars, or Futurama. It's been a subtext of our space program. You might recall a low-grade, 1960 biopic about Wernher von Braun entitled I Aim at the Stars. Or perhaps you know the sunny motto of the National Space Society: "ad astra" ("to the stars"). "


Source: SETI | Comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Lt_Ripley 14 years ago
The article doesn't actually say that we won't be a spacefaring race, it only states that we are more likely to become a race that relies on probes that would do the exploration for us. at first no doubt ..... but beyond that ? anything is possible.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Ghost Ship 14 years ago
I have to admit...our progress in relation to the enormous difficulty of space travel along with the time needed for missions..ie. probes being sent away to planets..let alone other stars..galaxies.... I don't think humanity was meant to be an amazing space farring race. Eventually yes, but until we can reach our nearest star in less then 120 thousand years at speed of light i dont think humanity is very impressive in regards to space travel.
Comment icon #5 Posted by BaneSilvermoon 14 years ago
and yet where we are now with technology and what we've accomplished was deemed impossible at one time. never say never. the one that does usually comes away with egg on their face. Ah but in any situation those who yell "you can't do it" are needed to fuel others to try.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Slave2Fate 14 years ago
Just look at everything else we have done, harnessed the power of fire and electricity and obtained dominion over the Earth. There were people who said sailing the seas couldn't be done and that never stopped us, it didn't even slow us down. I think that space probes will always be our first eyes and ears in space, but man's footsteps will always be soon behind. JMO
Comment icon #7 Posted by REBEL 14 years ago
To think how much further out in space we'd be right now as a human race if it wasn't for (eg) the dark ages (religion) & astronomical amounts of money wasted on so many bullsh!t wars.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Paracelse 14 years ago
Just look at everything else we have done, harnessed the power of fire and electricity and obtained dominion over the Earth. There were people who said sailing the seas couldn't be done and that never stopped us, it didn't even slow us down. I think that space probes will always be our first eyes and ears in space, but man's footsteps will always be soon behind. JMO To believe humanity has obtained dominion over the earth is incredible... That would mean human could control earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes.. it's silly.... we (as human) have screwed the earth, not obtained domi... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ghost Ship 14 years ago
Humanity would only deserve that rep if we did the same thing to another planet. Humanity is still in the cradle so to speak. After all we all weren't born with manuals on how to live life. It's all just happening and were learning from it.
Comment icon #10 Posted by SpIdErCyDe 14 years ago
Eventually we'll go to the stars. Can't you picture aliens sitting around saying, "aww ****, here come those lil' b*******, dammit."
Comment icon #11 Posted by Slave2Fate 14 years ago
To believe humanity has obtained dominion over the earth is incredible... That would mean human could control earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes.. it's silly.... we (as human) have screwed the earth, not obtained dominion.. and the only real reason to leave earth is to find another planet to screw up there like we have screwed up here. By "dominion" I meant that we have used our intellect to rise above the food chain. It is clear that humans are the dominant animal on the Earth, but it isn't our physical aspects that give us this title, it is out achievements. We are also one of ... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Legatus Legionis 14 years ago
To believe humanity has obtained dominion over the earth is incredible... That would mean human could control earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes.. it's silly.... we (as human) have screwed the earth, not obtained dominion.. and the only real reason to leave earth is to find another planet to screw up there like we have screwed up here. yes I agree that we really screwed this planet up, we only ended up screwing the planet because of the need of improvements and technological exploration, we didn't know better what would happen to our planet.. yet now as you see we are trying our ... [More]


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