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Space Policy Edition: Real and Acceptable Reasons for Space Exploration

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Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin joins the Space Policy Edition to discuss his notable 2007 speech outlining the tension between so-called “real” and “acceptable” reasons for space exploration.

“Acceptable” reasons for space exploration are logical, policy-friendly justifications such as workforce development, technology spinoffs, and STEM engagement. They are quantifiable and dispassionate — the Vulcans of arguments.

However, Griffin argues that the essence of humanity's drive to explore space is the “real” reasons, which are intuitive, emotional, and grand. They have value but are hard to quantify. These include the innate human desire for competitiveness, curiosity, and the urge to leave lasting legacies through monumental achievements. 

Why do we have this dichotomy? What in the system itself prefers acceptable reasons over real reasons? And how can we leverage the relative strengths of both systems to be better space advocates?

Discover more at: https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/mike-griffin-real-and-acceptable-reasons-for-space-exploration

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