There is No Planet B
Can Space Travel Rescue Humanity from a Troubled World?
Many astronomers were first inspired by human space exploration programs, including the Apollo Missions, the Space Shuttles, the International Space Station, and more recent efforts by NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin to make inter-planetary travel a reality.
Furthermore, many science fiction books and films—which inspire us all—are motivated by real discoveries made by astronomers, engineers and space scientists making use of space missions and observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler Exoplanet Mission.
Given these imagined marvels of Sci-Fi—and the real world marvels that are accomplished and uncovered daily—we are constantly invited to ponder a universe of infinite possibilities. But, when it comes to the imminent fate of our species, we are obliged to be pragmatic.
We would like to take a moment to clear up a misconception that our own research (and the excitement that surrounds it) has created: the notion that transporting people from Earth to destinations in space might be a viable way to cope with a degraded ecology on Earth. This is not possible in the immediate future for the following reasons: