I am one of those people who believe that the exploration of space is important. I believe in gaining knowledge by finding out how the universe works by looking at the universe. In order to find out what we want to know, sometimes we need to leave the safety of our home planet.
Yes, it costs a lot of money. A huge amount of money. Some people will argue that technological insights developed by necessity by the space program may have benefits to everybody else too. I agree with this. But I do not think that it is the way to justify the exploration of space. We need to do it out of an enlightened curiosity.
See this article by Stephen Hawking.
Copyright Ed Baker