Neil deGrasse Tyson has a new book out: Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier. It is (as one might guess) about space exploration, and assembles earlier speeches and writings with some new stuff. This is an interesting time to be talking about the space program, as NASA seems to be producing new results ever week, there are large and small space robots on their way to distant orbs, or soon to be launched, we are on the verge of understanding the potential of life on Mars on a basic level, we are finding more earth-ish Exoplanets and at the same time the sky is falling, or at least, trashed with litter from one of the most significant, direct and obvious side effects of the space program: We humans get to ruin not just the air and the sea and the land, but also, near space!
From a recent NPR interview:
"Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival ... Not only does that get people interested in sciences and all the related fields, it transforms the culture into one that values science and technology, and that's the culture that innovates ... And in the 21st century, innovations in science and technology are the foundations of tomorrow's economy."
Bottom line: Exploring space still matters.
Also of interest: