A well-written article by Seth Shostak on the SETI Institute website asks the question in the title of this blog. And also suggests an interesting answer. Humanity has always had an ambition and fantasy to explore the galaxy in elaborate spaceships as shown by the popularity of TV shows like Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, The Enterprise to name only a few. However this article takes a different view based on the scientific and technological progress we have made in last few decades. In the author’s own words, “….. in seven decades our rockets sped up by a factor of ten, but in little more than half that time our cameras improved by a factor of five thousand. There’s no comparison: probe technology is marching to the beat of a faster drummer.” The author therefore suggests that while we might explore our solar system using manned space shuttle missions, space probes offer a much low risk and high efficiency option for deep-space research. So, may be, humans will not zoom around in their inter-galactic spaceships afterall, getting “beamed up” from one galaxy to another!