I've been a little rattled, lately, as is evidenced by the fact that I'm publishing this now instead of 12:01am, as is my normal practice. I am really trying to get things back to "normal".
This morning, Bob Edwards (on XM Radio's Public Radio International) had Neil deGrasse Tyson on as his guest for the full hour. I really like Tyson - he's like Carl Sagan without the unique speech patterns.
There is something he says which is a reflection, really, of something that Sagan said - something about star stuff, although Tyson puts it in different terms:
“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
The thing is - it's not just your body - it's everything you can see, touch, taste and feel. Everything here owes it's existence to some number of large, unstable, early stars that blew up (literally) and in doing so scattered their guts across the galaxy.
We are made of the remnants of supernovas. Probably more than one. And it was probably another supernova that caused our "gas cloud' to condense into what ultimately became our Solar System. And us.
Space exploration? Going to Space? Should we do it? Why should we do it? Because it is, literally, us, going home.