Hi Joe, this is a great question, and one we care deeply about.

First, we have a guiding principle at the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) that our work also come back down to benefit life on Earth, in the long tradition of NASA spinoff technologies. There are wonderful examples of technologies that were originally developed for life in space (kevlar, certain water filtration technologies, etc) that have found life-saving application areas on Earth. We take an early stage approach to this, and try to design our projects to have applicability in both domains (earth and space) from the start, whenever we can.

Exploring space also helps give us critically important, and emotionally powerful, insights into life on Earth. It’s thanks to Space Exploration that we learned about the greenhouse gas effect on Venus and how important it is to mitigate climate change on Earth. Photos of the earth taken from space in the 1960s and 1970s even helped kick-start the environmental movement!