Famed scientist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about the importance of space exploration today during his keynote at South by Southwest Interactive. Despite advances by private companies, particularly SpaceX, he said they won’t be the ones making the biggest breakthroughs.
Tyson admitted that for him, the appeal of space travel is the simple fact that it’s “a frontier.” However, there are more practical reasons to go into space. For one thing, we need to be able to respond if we find out that an asteroid is headed for Earth.
“You know the dinosuars would have if they could have,” Tyson said. He joked that failing to pursue a space program when we have the scientific and technological capability would make us “the laughing stock” of other intelligent species: “They’d have human bones on display in their museum. ‘Here they are, not building a spaceship.'”
He also suggested that…
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