Cassandra Sharpies, of Port Chalmers School, asks :-

Why do people want to explore outer space?

Anne-Marie Robinson, an Ansett flight attendant, who has attended several United States Space Academy camps in America and who is working towards being a New Zealand astronaut, responded.

Space is an unexplored and mysterious place and, as human nature has proven over the history of our existence, we will always be curious about the unknown and want to explore it and want to find out answers about it.

Our past, present and future can be found in space exploration. Humans continually strive to determine where we evolved from and where we will evolve to. The human adventure of Space Exploration has only just begun and with luck I hope to part of that great adventure.

On your behalf I asked NASA's Louis Parker for NASA's view. He responded that "People are instinctively and inherently inquisitive. Humans have always wanted to explore the unknown. Look at our (and your) forefathers; they wanted to know more about the world, so explorations netted the discovery of new worlds. Even though danger was present in exploration, it didn't stop people from exploring the unknown. Space is so different in one respect. Again, look at our forefathers that the fascination space held for them. But on the other hand, because space is infinite, there's always that `envelope' that man will continue to press to satisfy his hunger for knowledge about space until the end of time"