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Space exploration a good investment

July 16, 2008

Re "Rock analysis turns up evidence of moon water," July 10

I am not surprised by this news of ancient water on the moon. The knowledge about our universe accumulated by NASA and space researchers over the last 50 years has completely revised our image of the cosmos.

In the early 1950s, most people thought that most of the observable universe was an empty void where very little had been happening. We have since learned that water is probably one of the most common resources in our solar systems and that almost every planet and moon had, or now has, deposits of water in one form or another.

We are learning that space is not just some novel, hostile place not worth the effort to explore and settle. We are learning that we should not limit our vision of the future to the relatively minuscule confines of Earth's domain.

The longer we hesitate to charge into space, the more potential harm we inflict on a future generation that will need well-developed space-faring technology to save life on Earth.

Space exploration is arguably the best possible investment of our tax dollars.

Jim McDade

Vestavia Hills, Ala.

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