— Alan Bean American astronaut and painter 1932 - 2018
Kontext: The movement of human beings off the planet out into the Universe; first the Moon, and then Mars, and then who knows where, is just beginning and there is nothing that can stop it. None of us know the timetable, none of us know whether it's going to happen rapidly or it's going to happen very slowly.
Eventually, as the centuries unfold, human beings will populate all these places and maybe a thousand years from now, or maybe it's two thousand or five thousand, there will be more human beings living off the Earth than live on it. Its just going to happen and we don't need to be anxious about it. We don't need to worry that next year they decide to cut the space station. If they cut the space station next year, I hope they don't, but if they did, it's not the end of the world. We're going to eventually have a wonderful space station. Eventually there are going to be cities in space. If Chicago had been founded a hundred years later, we wouldn't even know that now. I don't know when it was founded, but if it had been a hundred years later or a hundred years earlier, right now it wouldn't make any difference. It would probably look about the same. People would be just as happy doing the same things. That's the same way with space exploration. Maybe we don't go to Mars in my lifetime, maybe we don't even go till my grandkids lifetime. That's okay. Eventually it will happen.