The Ultimate Necessity of Space Travel (1959)
Philip N. Shockey wrote a piece for the March-May, 1959 issue of Space Journal titled, "The Ultimate Necessity of Space Travel." Shockey makes the case for a trip to the moon and eventually further into space as a necessity brought about by the eventual destruction of Earth a few billion years from now.
That trip to the moon was still a decade away but, as noted in the piece, was anticipated to be no sooner than 20 years out. An excerpt from the piece appears below.
When one considers that our planet is doomed, at least as far as life is concerned, it is impossible to put meaningful value on the titanic forward struggle of life on Earth through billions of years. This struggle, whether conscious or not, appears agonizingly futile if the gigantic mass contribution can not be perpetuated.