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There's also the very valid point that if humanity really wants to survive, space exploration is absolutely necessary. It's not just me saying this — a very respected wheeled scientist agrees. There's seven billion people on Earth now. Things are going to get pretty damn crowded soon, and it's going to be time to find some new real estate.
Colonization of space seems like a very pie-in-the-sky, sci-fi idea. I agree, it does. I was just thinking how it seems that way as I accessed a global knowledge network from a tiny device in my hand about a robot we just sent to Mars. Other people did this same thing while flying through the air, or cradling an infant who's embryo was implanted. With science. Things that seem sci-fi just aren't here yet.