This. THIS! This is beautiful!
I won’t live to see this, not even remotely from my safe seat on Earth. My children and my grandchildren may most likely not see it either. But I’m hoping that, at some point, something like this becomes reality, that we grow our wandering legs, our courage and our thirst for new places, discoveries, for expanding our horizons in terms of both knowledge and distance.
Humans can, and must, find footholds on the other planets and moons in our immediate neighbourhood. Not because those planets and moons are the final goal, far from it, but to slowly prepare us for the even greater step, that towards the nearest stars, where we and some or even many of our fellow species may take up residence and live. Our time here on Earth, in our cradle which we have barely even crawled out of for a mere handful encounters with the nearest celestial body, is limited. To ensure our continued existence as a species beyond the next few hundred or thousand years, requires that we drive forwards and outwards.
As it stands now, we’re eggs in a basket, just one basket. All it would take is for one space rock, one unfortunate solar super-flare, or one politically or religiously driven madman with nuclear weapons at hand, of which scenarios either one might possibly end in oblivion for our part. It would be reassuring to know that, should it come to the worst, there would still be some of us out there to carry on, to keep our species alive, and to remember. Remember us, remember where we came from, remember the good things we did and created, to sing the songs of distant Earth*, and remember that we, too, were once alive.
And, of course, Sagan.
* (Yes, I confess to stealing some inspiration from Arthur C. Clarke as well. Who wouldn’t?)