No astrophysicist would deny the possibility of life. I think we’re not creative enough to imagine what life would be like on another planet. Show me a dead alien. Better yet, show me a live one!
There are a lot of things you can do in space, and space essentially is unlimited resources. We are climbing over ourselves here looking for the next source of energy. The universe has an unlimited source of energy.
In all civilizations we’ve studied, all cultures that we know of across the Earth and across time have invested some kind of attempt to understanding where where, where they come from, and where they are going.
I was an aspiring astrophysicist, and that’s how I defined myself, not by my skin color. People didn’t treat me as someone with science ambitions. They treated me as someone they thought was going to mug them, or who was a shoplifter.
Whether or not people go into space or serve the space industry, they will have the sensitivity to those fields necessary to stimulate unending innovation in the technological fields, and it’s that innovation in the 21st century that will drive tomorrow’s economies.