When will we be trekking among some stars?

Space exploration
When will we be trekking among some stars?

What happened?

Ever since man looked up we have always wondered, what is out there, for the sake of wonder and adventure.

For some reason, there was a huge drop off, people just stopped caring,

In the beginning primitive man wondered, what was behind that huge bolder? Or what was up that tall tree?
And for no other reason other than curiosity we went and had a look. If there was something we couldn’t cross on our own we improvised, we built boats to cross lakes, rivers and seas and when that wasn’t enough we climbed up hills and then mountains.

Sometimes we did it for economic reasons: to look for shiny rocks and valuable stones
Sometimes for self-preservation: our food source is drying up we need to find a place that’s fruitful
Sometimes just plain curiosity: look that thing over there, looks weird from far away what is it? lets go check it out.

I think there's something deep inside human beings that has always thought there is something more up in the sky or that the answers to all of are questions aren’t on earth but other there in space.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

— William Wordsworth, 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' (also known as 'The Daffodils'), 1804.

Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.

— Plato, The Republic, 342 BCE.

Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.

— H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, 1895.

It is certainly a wonderful, a brain-staggering conception … that our own stellar universe may be but one of hundreds of thousands of similar universes … Familiarity with these mighty concepts most certainly does not breed contempt, does not dull our awe at the mightiness of the universe in which we play so small a part. It is very doubtful if any of those who are seriously studying the heavens ever lose their feeling of reverence for this supremely wonderful universe and for Whoever or Whatever must be behind it all.

— Heber Curtis, lecture at the Lick Observatory in California, The Adolfo Stahl Lectures in Astronomy (1919), march 1917.

The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be owing to the stars themselves, separately considered. The number is certainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our ideas of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity.

— Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1844.

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