Just put an Aviation fuel station up there so they can re fill
Funding research, and what research to fund is a big topic.
Your BiL has a point. When the energy and water run out, there will be wars like you can't imagine. It's a practical problem. It feels solvable too.
But space exploration is needed to answer important philosophical problems about life/identity and the nature of the universe/existence. To a lot of people, this matters somewhat less.
Nothing matters more to the masses than Sky sports, mind you!
I say crack on with space exploration on the basis that from here on in I can't see they'll ever be a 'good' time where the earth has reached a stable equilibrium with regard resources/population/etc that it'll be the 'right' time for space exploration.
Clean cheap energy could improve the lives for millons/billons but I suspect the earths population would then increase 'whilst the going was good' until we reach a point where once again the available resources struggle to support the population...vicious loop
The only thing holding back the development of clean energy is the oil companies, not NASA.
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