"While space travel still gets a lot of attention, not enough attention has been accorded to a major new expedition to the deepest point in the ocean, some 7 miles deep -- the recent journey by James Cameron, on behalf of National Geographic. The cover story of the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs lays out the "Case for Space." "60 Minutes" recently ran a story about the dire effects on Florida's space industry of scaling back our extraterrestrial endeavors. Newt Gingrich gained attention earlier this year by calling for building a permanent base on the moon. And President Obama has talked of preparing to eventually send Americans into orbit around Mars. Actually, there are very good reasons to stop spending billions of dollars on manned space missions, to explore space in ways that are safer and much less costly, and to grant much higher priority to other scientific and engineering mega-projects, the oceans in particular."
Keith's note: Is exploration a zero sum game - one wherein we must do one thing well (Earth) but not another (space)? Or can we do both? Should we do both? If the current (traditional) way of funding exploration via government funding is running out of steam, what other ways (i.e. Jim Cameron's recent private expedition) should be considered?