I have not read the book (yet) or seen the movie (yet), but I thought this interview with the author was intruiging:
Weir gets into one of the big reasons I support the space program and wish we had one that was ten times bigger. As long as the human race is confined to this planet, we are vulnerable. A single event can render us extinct or at least destroy our civilization. I’ve long thought we should build a vault of human knowledge so that, in the event of a survivable catastrophe, civilization could eventually be rebuilt. But the ultimate “civilization insurance” would be space colonization.
That’s decades away. As Weir notes, the big problem is getting things into orbit, which remains hideously expensive. But I also love his approach to this problem: let industry figure out how to get cargo into orbit cheaply (with NASA funding cutting edge research). That might mean new rocket tech, that might mean magnetic slingshots, that might mean a space elevator.
makes you think.. pic.twitter.com/3gwKVfk9G5
— World and Science (@WorldAndScience) September 4, 2015
The solar system, if not the universe, is there for the taking. Do we dare do it? The difference between doing it and not doing it may very well be the long-term survival of humanity.