A common theme in science fiction is the domination of space by private corporations. This has always seemed to fly in the face of our government-dominated space programs, but now that's all changed.
Yesterday SpaceX successfully launched Falcon 1, the first privately owned liquid-fuel rocket to achieve orbit.
Along with Virgin Galactic, SpaceX are trying to position themselves as a player in this brave new off-world. But unlike Virgin, SpaceX aren't planning tourist rides.
They're aiming to provide the serious stuff . . . satellite launches, freight services and transport to the International Space Station. And it's no coincidence that this is all happening just two years out from NASA's planned decommissioning of the shuttle program.
This is all very exciting. It seems the only question now is not when will we get back to the moon, but rather who will the major sponsors be?