It has now been 40 years since humans first walked on the Moon, and amid all the retrospectives, the usual debates about the present and future of space exploration are also being rehashed. While support for and opposition to the space program comes from all parts of the political spectrum, it often seems to me that this is an issue where my view is contrary to that taken by a large proportion of my fellow progressives. When the value of the space program is debated, I often hear the same old argument, offered by people who I presume are fellow liberals, that money spent on space would be better spent on Earth. But is this really the case? I would argue that current spending levels for the space program are a small price to pay for what we get; if anything, I'd like to see spending increased. There are many reasons for this, some admittedly rather subjective, others more objective.
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