There is a deeper dimension
to all this. Looking down from orbit at the only known life-supporting spacecraft
in the Universe -- our Earth -- best helps us to realize our responsibility
for life on Earth,
and stimulates the wish to protect it. This emotion is the starting
point for innovations to better understand and protect our ecosystem
('Earth does not have an emergency exit' - B. Lötsch). And the issue of
life support during long-term missions is far from being solved, as
evidenced by the many problems that surfanced during the Biosphere-2 endeavour.
Astronauts get the chance to see our planet from an outside point of view, as a precious ecosystem within the huge dimensions of space that might quickly be destroyed by human activity. In fact, astronauts having experienced this kind of emotion, change their way of thinking and living (Overview-Effect). Earth is home to every one of us, and every single one of us shares the responsibility for our common home.
Space life sciences creates important ideas and concepts in the context of life within Biomes and Biospheres, its exploration, understanding and protection. It also sets the stage for scenarios of making our neighbor in the Solar system a life-supporting planet, i.e., to terraform Mars, and possibly other heavenly bodies as well, in centuries to come. There is hardly a more challenging peaceful mission for mankind that could be imagined for the future of humankind.