Colonizing space will allow us to learn about space faster. It will also open up economic opportunities. Helium is likely to be very important to economies of the future. The gas giants have lots of helium. Helium mining will be one of the driving forces for colonization in the future.
And there will be other important materials I'm sure but I don't know exactly what.
Some planets such as Mars we may be able to terraform and then use to farm crops.
I'm appalled at how the US government has purposely kept their human space exploration confined to Low Earth Orbit, since the 1970s, in the aftermath of the very successful Apollo program(with the US being the premier space power of the last 50 years its example has being followed in kind by the other space capable nations). Sure, the Apollo program was costly in comparison to today's space budget & lives were tragically lost before the Moon was reached in 1969. But, nevertheless it was a big step in the right direction & had the US government built on that success by establishing a permanent base on the Moon during the 1980s, then a manned mission to Mars could well have happened by now. Alas, instead we are going to have to start from scratch just to get back to the Moon again & I'll be surprised if a manned mission to Mars occurs this side of 2050. The reason I believe humanity should colonize space is simply insurance for humanity, as in the event of a planetary cataclysm it would be good sense to have a viable & self-sustaining human colony in Space(I know it probably will not happen in this century), but best not to have all our eggs in one basket should Earth ever be assailed by a global-scale disaster.
Overpopulation is inevitable until the next disease wipes out a majority of the people living here. We explores space we give people a greater chance to thrive. We find cures for other diseases. We may find new types of diseases in space, but hey we can eventually cure those too Im sure. Its human nature. People during the time of colonization of America probably thought it was a bad idea too. It seemed like a whole nother world. But as they explored and innovated the world became smaller. We should do that with space
Ever heard the phrase "don't put all your eggs in one basket"? All of humanity exists on this single relatively small planet. If pollution or war isn't what eventually wipes us out then it will be one of the many other dangers to this planet. Unless we want to risk the extinction of humanity, it would be wise to colonize space. This would also solve numerous problems such as population control as there is enough space for everyone, not to mention all the jobs that this would create.
What I mean by this is that the people who are interested in colonizing space, leaving Earth, making a new future, are the ones who are productive, respectful members of society. No more in the way people being a**holes and hurting others. On top of that, the Earth will eventually die out or become uninhabitable (mind you not for a long time), so might as well spread the race out.
As our planet gets more and more destroyed by pollution, we need new alternatives. If we continue to do research, not only will we get that new home, but we will learn new things about our universe up close. This provides us with new science, as well as a new habitat that we can start over with.
I think we need to move past the colonial mindset we've had for the duration of our civilization's infancy. Or species must evolve if we truly wish to explore and thrive in space. Our goal must be deeper than that of a virus.
First we need to make use of the time we have on this planet (which could be a lot of time if we play our cards right) to study it's living systems and learn how to sustain such interactions in a designed environment.
Next we can construct these self sufficient spaces in domes on Earth and then adapt them to off-world stations.
Once we have self sustaining space stations that can carry sizable populations, we are free to journey through the cosmos and explore new worlds without contaminating them with our own biota.
I think it's our duty to explore space and learn as much as possible about the nature of the Universe. But let's fulfill that duty without becoming a nuisance amongst the spheres.
"If you love a flower, don't pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation."
We shouldn't because we would deplete the Moon's resources just like we are depleting Earth's resources. Plus the foundation of the moon isn't stable enough to build on, the soil is too rich, and we would need to put massive oxygen tanks up there just to breathe. This would kill the economy with the costs of this this attempt.
First of all, you shouldn't even look into space until you look at where you're standing. If you can't even keep Mother Earth clean, then no. It's like saying you have to clean your room before going to a friends house. So simple yet so hard because no one is willing to stop and do it.
Going to other planets and making a mess is just so irresponsible if you can't even take care with the planet you have here.
Gruen, restarting with a new habitat is just saying I'm going to destroy it without any care to the living beings on it. That would make you/humanity acting selfish. Do you call yourself selfish, do you want to do what's better? If you do then start with taking care of this planet.
In order to colonize space we would need much more resources and improvement in technology that we possess at present. We will not be able to colonize space that easily as the demands of this endeavor is much more than we can estimate. Rather we should focus on earth and how we can have a sustainable growth without adversely impacting the bio-diversity. This requires planning which is growth oriented and is within our rich. This approach will reinsure that our presence in earth is maintained. If at all we colonize space without learning from our mistakes on earth we will repeat the same and destroy another planet in the similar fashion. We need to learn from our past mistakes and endeavor to make earth a livable place in the long term.
Environment: Tho the environment here on earth can harsh at times, there is no place on earth that has it as bad as space. On earth, we have an atmosphere that protects us from things like solar radiation, and solar flares. Though space it'self has no temperature, objects in space, including people, can reach temps of 260 deg.C in sunlight and -100 in the shade. It is void of any natural resources especially something that may come in handy called air. Yet another problem is the existing space debris from satellites, past space launches, and natural objects like asteroids. These things can reach speeds of more that 10,000 mph. At those speeds, even a small paint chip can shoot right through you like a bullet. Though the structure in space may give you some protection, clearly it would not survive under some of the more harsh things.
Neighbors: One person mentioned about how those that would want to live in space would be less likely to be less respectful members of society because they leaving to make a new future. Thing is, a lot of people immigrate to the U.S. to make a new future and are they less likely to be "a**holes"? Nope. Sure, those that have a home on the colony may be wealthy, after all, it would probably cost billions for a small place. Thing is, who is to say that the wealthy are more respectful? Do you think they earned their money by being nice? Even if you could somehow screen those who are allowed on the colony, they would eventually have kids. There goes the neighborhood. No matter what you do, mankind will eventually ruin the place just as it has in the past.
Lack of resources: Sure, you may be able to grow much of the same food but you can't grow water, air, or metal. Yes, you could recycle much of it including waist water but how many wealthy would drink water that was once in the toilet? This means that if there is anything that the colony needs, they have to have it sent via space shuttle. Hate to pay the postage on that.
Though most of the residence would likely be wealthy, they would not survive without other people to do the things like maintenance, crops, food service, security and other occupations. Seeing that they would be needed but could not afford to live there, the wealthy would have to pay for them to live there. I doubt they would commute.
If you want a place far away from the troubles of society, there are many other places that you could live with much more comfort, safety, and lower cost. Places like the middle of a desert, Antarctica, or a distant island. You could even build a vast underground bunker system like the one under Cheyenne Mountain. Though each would require some extra features and costs, they would still be under the protection of our atmosphere so at much less risk.