does space exploration have a future?

<p>When you think about it, all the companies in the private space industries only exist either thanks to government contracts or because some super wealthy people are interested in space. The only immediate commercial value of all this effort is selling flights into LEO or stays in inflatable space hotels for around a million a pop. There needs to be the potential for huge money-making in any infant industry in order for it to flourish; this leads me to believe that space exploration doesn't have much of a future -- at least in the next couple decades.</p>

<p>But then there are articles like Entrepreneurs</a> Enter the Commercial Space Race - NYTimes.com and Four</a> Companies to Watch in the Brave New Commercial Space Mission Era | Fast Company that talk about the bright future of these private space companies, which makes me a bit confused. IMO, NASA alone isn't a reliable market at all; its budget fluctuates at the whim of public opinion. What do you think?</p>

<p>Hard to say. My daughter (a space nut) for a while was interested in geological engineering. She thought there'd me more opportunities to explore into the earth than upward/</p>

<p>Those are very interesting articles. Looks like good news for my DS who is an aerospace major. When Obama cut Constellation, I was worried about the future of space exploration. </p>

<p>Realistically, none of these companies seem to have the same vision of space exploration as, say, NASA or Carl Sagan. What about exploring other planets, etc.? Oh well, a job is a job. </p>

<p>Anyone feel nervous about being in a soft-sided structure while in the vacuum of space?</p>

<p>I sincerely hope so - space is, as they say, "the final frontier" for human exploration. It's whats next for us as a civilization, so explore and branch out into space.</p>

<p>^ Don't forget about the ocean. It's just as much of a frontier as outer space.</p>

<p>Also, sending humans into space is pretty inefficient. Computers are much more effective, unfortunately. That said, I'd be willing to be we'll be on Mars by mid-century.</p>