The famous physicist Stephen Hawking once said: "It's spaceflight or extinction." Why do so many people think space exploration is not very important?
From Wikipedia: Space and survival is the relationship between outer space and the long-term survival of the human species and civilization. It is based on the observation that space colonization and space science could prevent many human extinction scenarios. A related observation is the limited time and resources thought by some to be available for the colonization of space.
Extinction can be prevented by improving the physical barrier or increasing the mean distance between people and the potential extinction event. For example, people may survive imminent explosions by being in a bunker or evacuating. Pandemics are controlled by putting exposed people in quarantine and moving healthy people away. In the long history of animal life on Earth only lineages that diversify survive into the deep future. Our lineage, genus Homo, has reduced from several species co-existing on Earth to just one — all but our own going extinct since the start of the last Ice age. This would be a danger sign for any other large mammal genus. Space colonization, particularly of other star systems, would allow our genus to diversify and adapt to potentially new habitats.
Life support systems that enable people to live in space may also allow them to survive hazardous events. For example, an infectious disease or biological weapon that transmits through the air could not infect a person in a closed life support system. An internal supply of air and a physical barrier exists between the person and the environment.
What do think? Does space exploration matter to you? Should we rather focus on short-term goals, motto: first things first? Why do so many people think space exploration is a waste of money? Is it perhaps more ethical to remain on one single planet? Maybe we don’t have the right to colonize space… Terraforming Mars means changing the planet’s natural evolution. What about Earth-like planets in other star systems? Maybe there’s primitive life that humans should merely observe. What is your opinion?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.