Should we be firing so many rockets into space these days? (Survey)

Falcon Heavy
© SpaceX

When Zach wondered about the carbon footprint of all these rockets that Elon Musk is shooting into space, the commenters pounced. When he suggested that going to Mars was a pretty fanciful dream, they were outraged. My favorite:

This is the kind of silly, narrow-minded argument that gives 'greens' a bad name. Would the writer also discourage the creation of an exquisite, fifty-million dollar Ferrari F1 car, because it only achieved five miles to the gallon? [ed- yes I would] Such rare beasts brighten up the world for us all and help to push the boundaries of what is considered technologically possible.

The commenters go on about how wonderful this free market approach is, how NASA couldn't do this right but Musk can, and we TreeHugger writers should go back to our mud huts. That it's totally fine that Musk is burning kerosene to to haul freight for the US government to a $100 billion international space station that nobody knows what to do with.

Meanwhile, out west, Richard Branson is getting ready to burn rubber and nitrous oxide to put rich people into space for $250K per pop. So we have Elon getting the big bucks for taking out the garbage at a space station, and Richard running expensive amusement rides.

We are pretty consistent on TreeHugger about the idea that we should be doing less of a lot of things, including flying, air conditioning and driving. I am surprised that readers are so shocked that we say the same things about rockets. What do you think?

Should we be firing so many rockets into space these days? (Survey)
The technology is sexy, but is this the best use of our money and brains?

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