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† E. Outer Space: Home, sweet home?

Narrator: This is Science Today. The idea of having a massive space station built for human occupancy is no longer considered just a Trekkie fantasy. University of California, Berkeley astronomer Alex Fileppenko says itís wise to think about building such a station, and not just for scientific reasons...

Fileppenko: If something drastically wrong happens on Earth, the whole human race could be annihilated. For example if a giant comet, or giant asteroid crashed into Earth and so it behooves us to think really in the long run...you know, do we want to survive or we gonna let the cosmos get rid of us, just as it created us.

Narrator: Of course the expense of such a project is mind-boggling, but Fileppenko says eventually, itíll be worth it...

Fileppenko: At this moment, the driving factor behind the space station is not so much the science because there are plenty of things that the scientific community can do that right now, are not as expensive as the space station, on the other hand, we do have to look to the future as I just said and so, if we start planning the space station now, thatís probably a good thing in the long run.

Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.