Chapter 7-8

The View Ahead

From our new vantage point, the universe awaits us, still holding the answers to unexplored questions. What are the mechanisms that sustain the tremendous energy sources that we have found in space? What is the surface of Venus like, and why is it apparently so different from those of the other terrestrial planets? How will the Sun affect our weather and climate in the future? What are we doing to our own atmosphere, and what are the consequences? Is there life on Mars? Or elsewhere? Can people live and work permanently in space?

Finding the answers to these questions depends on us. We see no technical barriers to going further into space or to living there. How we proceed depends on our purpose, our will, and on economic, political, and cultural factors that are beyond scientific calculation. The lesson of space explorations so far is simple: We can go on if we want to. The future is in our hands.

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