• Why we must explore space

    With so many problems raging on earth, why should governments or private enterprises like Virgin Galactic spend the time, energy and money on space exploration?

    As a child I dreamed of being an astronaut and I've always been fascinated by films and television shows about space travel and science. I grew up acting out Star Wars and Star Trek, and watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Neil deGrasse Tyson's updated version of the series, produced by Seth MacFarlane, is even more enthralling.

    I was especially fascinated by the work of Buckminster Fuller. Bucky Fuller was nearly completely blind, but using his keen sense of touch, he was able to build the dodecahedron–a nearly-spherical object–able to hold the most volume using the least material possible. Any geodesic dome-shaped home or building you see uses his principles. But Bucky's greatest work to me, was his concept of "Spaceship Earth": The idea that our planet is a vessel we are traveling on through space.

    Like a ship at sea, we have a finite amount of resources. Without working together, caring for one another and the planet, our ship will suffer and perish. His lifetime of science, like that of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, led him to the conclusion that human kind has a responsibility to care for one other and the planet.