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Space Colonization Good



Space colonization is essential to the future of the human race

Foust, 2006 (Jeff, aerospace analyst, editor and publisher of The Space Review, Ph.D in planetary science, The Space Review, “New Strategies for Exploration and Settlement,”

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1860/1, June 6)


Spudis took issue with those who he believes have conflated exploration with science. “I think we’ve come in the last century to misunderstand the original meaning of exploration,” he said. Exploration enables science, he said, by making discoveries scientists then attempt to explain, but exploration is more than just science. “Fundamentally exploration is more important than science because it is broader and richer than science,” he said. “It includes both asset protection and wealth generation.”

That approach to exploration, he argued, should be applied to future human space exploration. The “ultimate rationale” for human spaceflight is the survival of the species, he said, noting the record of asteroid and comet impacts and the likelihood that eventually another large body will collide with the Earth, with devastating consequences for life on the planet. “If you want humanity to survive, you’re going to have to create multiple reservoirs of human culture,” he said, “and the way to do that is to expand human civilization off the planet.”

Not surprisingly, Spudis believes the place to begin to do that is the Moon. “We’re going to the Moon to learn the skills to live and work productively on another world,” he said. Those skills, he added, can be grouped into three categories: development of a transportation system, the ability to safely live on another world, and developing resources that can be exported for profit—or, as Spudis put it, “arrive, survive, and thrive.”


Colonization is the only way for humans to survive

Baum 10 (Seth D., Ph.D in Geography from Pennsylvania State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and scholar at Columbia University's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, “Cost–Benefit Analysis Of Space Exploration: Some Ethical Considerations”, Space Policy Volume 25, Issue 2, May, pg 75-80, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265964609000198)
Another non-market benefit of space exploration is reduction in the risk of the extinction of humanity and other Earth-originating life. Without space colonization, the survival of humanity and other Earth-originating life will become extremely difficult – perhaps impossible – over the very long term. This is because the Sun, like all stars, changes in its composition and radiative output over time. The Sun is gradually converting hydrogen into helium, thereby getting warmer. In some 500 million to one billion years, this warming is projected to render Earth uninhabitable to life as we know it [25] and [26]. Humanity, if it still exists on Earth then, could conceivably have developed technology to survive on Earth despite these radical conditions. Such technology may descend from present proposals to “geoengineer” the planet in response to anthropogenic climate change [27] and [28].2 However, later – around seven billion years later – the Sun will lose mass that spreads into Earth's orbit, causing Earth to slow, be pulled into the Sun, and evaporate. The only way life could survive on Earth would be if, by sheer coincidence (the odds are on the order of one in 105 to one in 106 [29]), the planet happened to be pulled out of the Solar System by a star system that was passing by. This process might enable life to survive on Earth much longer, although the chances of this are quite remote. While space colonization would provide a hedge against these very long-term astronomical threats, it would also provide a hedge against the more immediate threats that face humanity and other species. Such threats include nuclear warfare, pandemics, anthropogenic climate change, and disruptive technology [30]. Because these threats would generally only affect life on Earth and not life elsewhere, self-sufficient space colonies would survive these catastrophes, enabling life to persist in the universe. For this reason, space colonization has been advocated as a means of ensuring long-term human survival [32] and [33]. Space exploration projects can help increase the probability of long-term human survival in other ways as well: technology developed for space exploration is central to proposals to avoid threats from large comet and asteroid impacts [34] and [35]. However, given the goal of increasing the probability of long-term human survival by a certain amount, there may be more cost-effective options than space colonization (with costs defined in terms of money, effort, or related measures). More cost-effective options may include isolated refuges on Earth to help humans survive a catastrophe [36] and materials to assist survivors, such as a how-to manual for civilization [37] or a seed bank [38]. Further analysis is necessary to determine the most cost-effective means of increasing the probability of long-term human survival.
Extinction is inevitable without space colonization

Associated Press 6 (“Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space”, 6-14, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13293390/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/hawking-says-humans-must-go-space)
The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday. The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years. "We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system," added Hawking, who arrived to a rock star's welcome Monday. Tickets for his lecture planned for Thursday were sold out. He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth. "It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth 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 we have not yet thought of."
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