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Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 94, Issue 3–4, pp 245–266 | Cite as

TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED SCIENTIFIC AND SOCIAL CASE FOR HUMAN SPACE EXPLORATION

  • I. A. Crawford
Article

Abstract

I will argue that an ambitious programme of human space exploration, involving a return to the Moon, and eventually human missions to Mars, will add greatly to human knowledge. Gathering such knowledge is the primary aim of science, but science’s compartmentalisation into isolated academic disciplines tends to obscure the overall strength of the scientific case. Any consideration of the scientific arguments for human space exploration must therefore take a holistic view, and integrate the potential benefits over the entire spectrum of human knowledge. Moreover, science is only one thread in a much larger overall case for human space exploration. Other threads include economic, industrial, educational, geopolitical and cultural benefits. Any responsibly formulated public space policy must weigh all of these factors before deciding whether or not an investment in human space activities is scientifically and socially desirable.

Keywords

Human spaceflight international cooperation in space Mars Moon space exploration 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth SciencesBirkbeck CollegeLondonUK

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