Neil deGrasse Tyson says he’s ‘still awaiting the day the Solar System becomes a backyard’

We reached out to a number of space experts, including renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, for their thoughts on Artemis I. Tyson replied in a somewhat cryptic fashion that betrayed his excitement, but perhaps also a little impatience at the current state of human space exploration.

“I’m still awaiting the day when the entire solar system becomes a backyard, and we’re no longer having conversations about the choice of one destination versus another — and in what sequence,” Tyson wrote in a statement to IE. “The Moon, Mars, and beyond are all destinations.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s cosmic perspective

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a celebrated astrophysicist and science communicator. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium, host of the weekly podcast Startalk, and he has published a number of books, including 2017’s ‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.’

He is a champion of all things space and, for years, he has argued in favor of channeling funds towards space exploration and space science. In a Star Talk Q&A video in 2015, he was asked how we can justify spending billions on space with all the problems we have on Earth. Tyson replied by stating that “we should never legislate what frontier gets breached next.”

Why is that? Well, we simply can’t ever know what’s on the other side of a frontier, and how that discovery will benefit humanity. A look back at human history provides ample evidence. Four hundred years ago, for example, when many were dying from the plague, the German government’s investment in the slow development of glass lenses was protested as wasteful and unnecessary. Eventually, however, those lenses led to the creation of the microscope, a giant leap for medicine that helped to eradicate the plague.

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