In the year 2569, earth has advanced far beyond anyone in the pasts farthest dreams. Robots do all of the work, so people can choose either to not work or get a fulfilling career that they enjoy. Since they have 3D printers and whatnot, all items are insanely cheap, a spaceship with the capability to travel faster than light cost about the same as a Gerald Ford class aircraft carrier. Humans have made contact with about 90 other species, and interstellar highways of sorts connect them to each other.

Humans are pretty much immortal, as their brains can be saved on computers, computers billions of times more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer today. Humans are genetically modified before birth to be physically healthy, and are stronger, smarter and overall better than humans today. On planet earth, crime has been eliminated, and every person can expect to have a perfect happy life.

But, some people are just not satisfied with living perfect lives. Some people want to join spaceship crews to explore and etc. But in this world, finding gold and other riches doesn’t matter, as asteroid mining provides all raw materials. And space and land isn’t a problem either, as humanity has established colonies on other planets. So, my question is why would they choose to go into possible danger and death, when a perfect life is available to them back home?

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    $\begingroup$ "all items are insanely cheap" does not follow from "Since they have 3D printers and whatnot". $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 11 '18 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean? $\endgroup$ – Bryan 2 Mar 11 '18 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ "all you need is a 3D printer" and the raw materials, and time. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 11 '18 at 3:38
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    $\begingroup$ The entire challenge of writing utopia novels (and the entire fun) is answering this question. Post-scarcity utopias are so unbelievably far from the world we live in today that it's almost impossible to comprehend what goes through their minds. You could write a dozen utopian novels where they go into space and never have to repeat a reason for going. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Mar 11 '18 at 4:59
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    $\begingroup$ For some people their idea of Utopia would in fact be exploring space without any material benefit. The closest fiction I've seen exploring Utopia in a modern setting without actually saying so is (as usual) Iain M Banks Culture novels. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Mar 11 '18 at 8:33

Boredom, fame, interest, the chance to see something no human has, the sheer risk involved, looking for a new high, escaping their past, all the same reasons people have had in the past.

Look at the rich aristocrats and nouveau rich from the late 19th and early 20th century who spent small fortunes climbing mountains, exploring jungles, crossing deserts, and visiting the poles, doing life threatening things that no Westerner had done before. They didn't need to, they were the upper crust, they had wealth, power, land, and more, but for all kinds of reasons they had to push the limits.

Now you have given the entire human race the chance to do the same. Look out universe, here we come.


Because it's there

All mammals are curious and have a built-in tendency to explore. Primates are even more curious than the average mammal, and humans are primates. We have a strong built-in tendency to explore.

"Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?" This question was asked of George Leigh Mallory, who was with both expeditions toward the summit of the world’s highest mountain, in 1921 and 1922, and who is now in New York. He plans to go again in 1924, and he gave as the reason for persisting in these repeated attempts to reach the top, "Because it's there." (Wikiquote, quoting "Climbing Mount Everest is work for Supermen", The New York Times, 18 March 1923.)

  • $\begingroup$ Sadly, George Mallory died climbing Everest. "Because it's there" always seems too glib. However, the impulse to explore to find what is there is utterly powerful. To gain new knowledge and new experiences is even stronger. $\endgroup$ – a4android Mar 11 '18 at 11:57

Because utopia is impossible.

  1. There is no such thing a perfect life, fulfillment comes is plethora of varieties, utopia to one is hell to another. A world without crime is a world without freedom or independent thought, a lot of people would be happy to risk death to have their own ideas and opinions.

  2. If people are nigh immortal then overpopulation will be a huge issue, it is unavoidable, that alone will drove many people offworld, just for the breathing room.

  3. A world without challenge is worse than death to many people, overcoming challenges is part of being human. Your society has taken that away, its stagnant and bland, it is baby food mush in a world where jalapeno peppers and steak exist. People will flee that for the same reason people go bungee jumping or rock climbing or decide to homestead in the middle of the wilderness, or even just go camping.

  4. Then of course you have plain curiosity, many people will want to explore and learn, the same people that today take submarines ot the bottom of the ocean or climb mountains to examine the rocks and life. To explore and learn is pretty common drive. As AlexP pointed out some many will want to go simply because it is there.

  • $\begingroup$ RE your point 1: “Most people would rather die than think and many of them do!”. ― Bertrand Russell, The ABC of Relativity. Of course, our ideas & opinions are inculcated by culture. We live in a culture that believes in the freedom of thought, ideas & opinions. So guess what we think we think. Otherwise I absolutely I agree. If we can go there, we will. $\endgroup$ – a4android Mar 11 '18 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ Diverse though has always existed, all that changes was how repressed it is. $\endgroup$ – John Mar 12 '18 at 20:10

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