There are a few financially exploitable areas involving space, such as asteroid mining and various commercial satellite markets, such as Earth observation and communications. There is virtually no role for private enterprise in the scientific exploration of the Solar System or the Universe, outside of acting as contractors to public agencies.Wadsworth wrote: ↑Sun May 09, 2021 10:15 pm
I can find some logic in both of your arguments. I feel that the majority of endeavors which humanity seeks out have their intrinsic value. Robotic and manned space travel should hold value as much as anything else we’ve set out to do, and succeeded in. I also think the time was right in the 60’s,70’s, etc. for the Government to pave the way where no private enterprise could. And now the time is ripe for private enterprise to take the lead and push forward.
Following the various robotic exploration missions and rovers has been quite exciting, but it will be spellbinding on an entirely different level to follow the first manned Mars exploration crew.
It is ingrained in us (at least some of us) to find out what is just over the next hill, the next mountain, the next planet. And put our ‘boots’ there.
A manned mission to Mars would certainly be exciting. But also expensive and useless. It shouldn't be done by the government. And it won't be done by private industry for any purpose other than a vanity project.