Welcome home, Thomas!

Given that we are in the midst of a resource and pollution crisis down here on Earth, shouldn’t we have better things to do than put men and women on top of vertical fuel tanks and blast them at unimaginable expense into space so they can live for a few months in a high-tech orbiting caravan?

Most of us go gaga about space exploration as if it were somehow necessary (it isn’t: we can live without the non-stick frying pan) or even possible (it is, sort of: we may make it to Mars but forget about leaving the solar system).

However, there is one point of the exercise, as French returnee Thomas Pesquet, reminded us. Most of us really don’t believe that the Earth is lonely, fragile, unique, and worth looking after. Only when you look down from the outside, through the International Space Station’s cupola, do you really understand this.

It may be worth sending people into space just so they come back determined to be better Earthlings.

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