Nowhere in space will we rest our eyes upon the familiar shapes of trees and plants, or any of the animals that share our world. whatsoever life we meet will be as strange and alien as the nightmare creatures of the ocean abyss, or of the insect empire whose horrors are normally hidden from us by their microscopic scale.
Many, and some of the most pressing, of our terrestrial problems can be solved only by going into space. long before it was a vanishing commodity, the wilderness as the preservation of the world was proclaimed by thoreau. in the new wilderness of the solar system may lie the future preservation of mankind.
There's a passage about 'rivers of molten rock that wound their way... until they cooled and lay like twisted dragon-shapes vomited from the tormented earth.' that's a perfect description: how did tolkien know, a quarter century before anyone ever saw a picture of io? talk about nature imitating art.
If the house is to be demolished tomorrow anyhow, people seem to feel, we may as well burn the furniture today. none of our problems are insoluble... but it seems clear that to prevail we humans will have to act with a smartness and selflessness that has so far eluded us during our long and tangled history.
In this single galaxy of ours there are eighty-seven thousand million suns. [...] in challenging it, you would be like ants attempting to label and classify all the grains of sand in all the deserts of the world. [...] it is a bitter thought, but you must face it. the planets you may one day possess. but the stars are not for man.