Can you imagine what JFK would have thought if someone had told him in 1961, when he promised a moonwalk by the end of the decade, that it would take an additional 50 years before we got around to building a moonbase? He probably would have laughed at your lack of vision and scolded you for being so pessimistic.
Sure, we honored his memory by achieving his goal with months to spare, but the mind-boggling accomplishment of putting Man on the Moon inspired nothing so much as a 38-year vacation from interplanetary progress.
But Rip van Winkle-like, NASA have finally been roused from their stupor and are talking Moonbase by 2020. This is the first step towards removing the 500-year stigma of violence from colonialism and creating a world, or rather a solar system, in which imperialism not only doesn’t imply genocide, it’s categorically impossible.
With the suburbanization of space finally underway, we can look forward to a future in which Republicans will be from Mars, Democrats from Neptune; the best show on TV will be “Triton Break”; feminists and pro-lifers will be united in common cause; and Earth’s environment will finally be saved from human litter. (To find out why, consult this post.)