I am severely disappointed by the current political attitude towards space travel and exploration. Here in the U.S., NASA has seen deep, deep cuts during the recession and has not rebounded since. Manned space flight has gone backwards in the last 20 years, with our most monumental achievement being sustained life in low-earth orbit.
When will we take the next step?
With the recent explosion of the Chelyabinsk meteor in the earth's atmosphere, there should be a groundswell of support for increased capabilities in space. When there was a House of Representatives panel held to ask NASA what could be done if a similar meteor was to be on course to hit within the United States, NASA administrator Charles Bolden had this to say:
NASA had asked for funding to track near-earth asteroids for years, but "the funding did not come". We are woefully helpless if there is going to be a repeat incident any time soon.
But I understand that there are those that are more resigned to fate. How can we possibly be bothered by something that is so difficult to predict, and if we could, could be nigh unstoppable? Perhaps it would be best to solve earthly problems before we worry about intercepting meteors, or setting up other human colonies. We've done a lot of harm here, and there's much suffering that can be alleviated by putting that money toward curing disease or solving the world's hunger problems.
Where do you stand on this issue?
tl;dr: Where is my hoverboard.