This is a great Wired article by Warren Ellis on the current state of space travel and sums up my feelings as well. Some gems from the article:
The single simplest reason why human space flight is necessary is this, stated as plainly as possible: keeping all your breeding pairs in one place is a retarded way to run a species.However, the best bit in this article for me was the following observation, which hit me like a kick in the teeth:
Exploration has always been central to the human drive. Not because of population pressure, nor trade necessity, but because it’s in our essential nature to wonder what and where is next. We are unique in the biosphere as creatures of imagination.
In my life I've seen a species go from believing it will live in space to accepting, all too easily, that it will die on the same old dirt its ancestors rot in. Having a nice robot phone is not an acceptable substitute for a future.Amen to that. Go read the whole article.