Christopher Columbus' PR team has definitely dropped the ball in recent years. Once revered in history books as a courageous explorer, he's been reduced on closer analysis to a rapacious, murdering golddigger.
Along with a heady dose of curiosity and adventurousness, the age of exploration was fueled by a powerful profit motive. No surprise there. The recent and impressive efforts of Space X and other private space tourism and exploration businesses are business-driven, too. So be it. But given the precarious state of the planet, the question is whether we've gotten any better at exploring wisely – at keeping in mind the needs of the many people whose lives depend on the discovery and use of new lands and resources.