Discipulus_Didicit, prompted by my recent debate with User_2006, asked that we debate this or have a forum discussion about it. I prefer the latter, as my interest in a debate topic tends to fall off rapidly after I set up the debate. The consequence is that I often regret committing myself to a debate when my opponent and I are still working on final arguments a month later. That didn't happen this time, because my opponent conceded, but even so, I prefer not to have another debate on the subject.
While working on the debate, I coincidentally encountered some podcast content that informed my understanding of space exploration's value. I can share how said content enriched my beliefs, but I take it D_D has been politely holding back his opinions on the matter, so as to not contaminate my debate with outside influences. So, D_D, I'd be happy to let you go first. If you like, please share your thoughts.
(see debate that prompted all this: https://www.debateart.com/debates/1944/space-exploration-ought-to-be-a-top-priority-in-the-near-term)