Here is the kind of space math that is completely appropriate for 2012: SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he's preparing for a permanent Mars colony stocked with 80,000 wealthy humans in their 40s. Are you in your 40s right now? Too late! This won't happen for another decade, or more. Are you poor and 30? Well maybe you've got a shot, but probably not. Do you have a degree from a good school and maybe a new job at Facebook or Twitter or Google? You might get to be a "new pilgrim," on Mars! You'll even get to enjoy gardening, the latest craze for people who build APIs [...]
Old fashioned people may continue to argue "public vs. private," but here in the actual future, the world's richest people have solemnly taken on the task of solving our lucrative problems. At this moment, a rocket launched by space industrialist Elon Musk is bringing ice cream to the sad astronauts aboard the faltering International Space Station. NASA would've probably sent freeze-dried "pink slime" to the ISS, if the welfare-state space agency still knew how to launch rockets.
Want to watch a rocket blast off? Just come back to my apartment with me. No, you don't have to. Thanks to this live feed from Cape Canaveral, you can see a massive cluster of nine Merlin 1C engines launch the 141-foot-tall, 333 ton Falcon 9 rocket with it's Dragon freighter nose capsule (man, the aerospace industry must employ more former D&D players than any other profession) 155 miles into the atmosphere right from the comfort of your own workplace. The Falcon is built to delivery cargo and one day even astronauts to the International Space Station, but today's mission is just to collect data on the ascent. [...]