I read Arthur C. Clarke's stuff when I was young (and no, this was not last week!). As well as Heinlein, Asimov, PJ Farmer, and many, many others. I was enthralled and entranced. The spirit of exploration has been deep seated within me since those days.
When I read the comments for this topic, I am struck by:
1) The number of people who share my love of exploration, discovery, and maybe a chance to save the species. This number is woefully small.
2) The number of people who have no sense of awe, excitement of discovery, no desire to look past their own immediate universe. people to whom the horizon marks the end of the universe. This is, then as now, too many.
If we (the rest of us) listen to the nay-sayers, we will still be sitting, fighting over the girls and land, on this wore-out world, when the sun goes nova. And that will be sad.
I'm not trying to insult anybody. And my conversation style, grammer and spelling, tend to leave a lot to be desired.