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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

justifications for space

pale blue dot: a vision of the human future in space

carl sagan




finished pale blue dot by sagan. the book was basically about humanity place in space, if any.

sagan rejected justification for space travel and exploration based on side benefits, such as an interest in science education or spin-off technologies (or alleged spin-offs) such as velcro or teflon. better to invest directly. he rejected the idea of using space to divert military spending -- if you don't like what the military does, stop ordering them to do it.

space travel, he thinks, is inevitable to the long term survival of the species, and eras of exploration tend to be good for the human spirit (although they are also times for the issues of colonization and dominance).

sagan did say that although spin-off tech might not be good justification, spin-off science might. depends on your political perspective whether good or bad, but the danger of cfc's and co2 were discovered in relation to studies involving atmospheres of other planets.