The society that stops exploring and begins to stagnate begins to die. It is only through the constant effort to learn and to achieve that we remain vigorous, bright, and strong.
~found at http://www.execpc.com/~culp/space/reasons2.html
"The heritage that we leave for future generations is not just knowledge of the scale of the Universe, or evidence for black holes in the hearts of galaxies, but the spirit of exploration of the world around us. For it is this spirit of exploration, and the curiosity that drives it, that is one of our most profound national needs. A nation that stops exploring is a nation that cannot produce the scientists and technologist that we so desperately need to be competitive in the global economy, and to improve the human condition. Federally funded scientific research is a contract with the US taxpayer not only to create new products, but to satisfy the national curiosity about the world in which we live. It is a fundamental element in the federal investment portfolio that insures our leadership in the world."
~France Anne Cordova quoting Dr. Dan Lester,
Opening Address to the U.S .Space Foundation Colorado Springs, April 4, 1995
A society that does not move forward stagnates and eventually dies, as the Romans did in the ancient world, and as the Ming Dynasty did in China in the 1400’s. The culture that stops exploring, preferring to stay home, put up walls and keep its garden neat will soon have no garden to worry about, and those walls will come crumbling down before too long.