Why go?

Why go to space? What possible benefit can there be? Werner Von Braun said the following at the end of the 60’s:

During the Renaissance, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal
established in his seaside castle of Sagres the closest precedent to
what NASA is trying to accomplish in our time. He systematically
collected maps, ship designs, and navigational instruments from all over
the world. He attracted Portugal’s most experienced mariners. He laid
out a step-by-step program aimed at the exploration of Africa’s Atlantic
coast and the discovery of Africa’s southernmost tip, which he knew had
to be circumnavigated if India were to be reached by the sea. With equal
determination he pushed for the possibly shorter west-bound route to the
Far East. Prince Henry trained the astronauts of his time, men like
Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco de Gama, and he created the exploratory
environment that launched Columbus from neighboring Spain on his
historic voyage.

Self-centered medieval Europe was subsequently turned into an outgoing,
exploring and expanding continent. England became a different place
after men like Sir Francis Drake or Sir Walter Raleigh followed in the
footsteps of the Portuguese and Spanish navigators. As a direct result
of an age of exploration that opened their eyes and revamped their
standards, Europeans and their American off-spring have ever since led
the world in intellectual dynamism.

Henry the Navigator would have been hard put had he been requested to
justify his actions on a rational basis, or to predict the pay-off or
cost-effectiveness of his program of exploration. He committed an act of
faith and the world became richer and more beautiful as a result of his
program. Exploration of space is the challenge of our day. If we
continue to put our faith in it and pursue it, it will reward us handsomely.