Space has been a love of mine since... as long as I can remember. When I was four, I'd sit through the hours of watching the shuttle sit on the pad while the announcers talked about whatever, just so I could see the liftoff. Hell, when I was four, I wrote a letter to Nasa to ask if they had any spare engines lying around, so that I could build myself a rocket. They sent back a packet full of information on the different kinds of rockets and other vehicles they used. I grew up on space sci-fi.
And I know... I know this will be another black eye to the space program. I remember how long it was between the Challenger and the next shuttle launch (I remember watching the Challenger too). Look, the fact of the matter is, there's not a whole lot left for the entirety of humanity that's here. I'm not talking about humanity in general- there's no reason for us all to ditch Earth, but for so many of us, there's not a whole lot of reason to stay either. Space exploration is not just about science, or money, or tourism, or any of that.
It's about exploration. It's about stretching human capacity, human ingenuity, and stretching humanity itself. Exploration... maybe this is too many episodes of Star Trek talking, but exploration is one of the best aspects of humanity. Curiosity and achievement linked together. And yes, this usually has a practical base, but I like to believe that the explorers of history were more interested in the finding than in any financial concern.
Exploration is a task of the Ubermensch, because Exploration is one branch of Creation. An explorer doesn't make something physical, but they make something possible. They represent the aspect of human spirit that is willing to risk.
I'm not sure what else to say...
Whenever I'm sad, the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack works for me. At least parts of it- it's so varied. This song is good for this though.