Prior to embarking on the Odysseys which developed into the Vienna Vision on Humans in Outer Space, a series of papers address human exploration against a historical and anthropological background of exploration as an inherent human activity. Can we compare, and can analogies be used? The contributions to this section set the scene for the three odysseys in the following sections. The contributions each focus in their specific way on the role and situation of humans around the Earth, their place in exploration, and the search for life in the universe. This section addresses the questions set out in the general introduction to this volume: Should humans explore space? Do the (cultural and economic) drivers for exploration require human participation? What are the human abilities and reasons to adapt to such extreme conditions as presented by the space environment beyond Earth? Should man be prepared for — ethical and societal — consequences of an encounter with Extraterrestrial life?