Here’s a simple example. Let’s imagine that we went to Mars. We might have to make the ship a little biome, with it’s own sustainable sources of food, energy, fuel, medicine. Those breakthroughs in sustainable agriculture, energy, healthcare might spill over into the real world, powering generations of innovation by industry and academia alike. Hence, the simple principle: spillovers from great things result in better things in general. Think that’s science fiction? CAT scanners came from tech designed to look for imperfections in space suits…and that’s just one of numerous life-changing inventions that came about from doing the great thing of going to the Moon.
Why To Do Great Things
umair haque

And don’t forget the greater thing still: returning.