Fifty years ago we landed on the moon and imagined that in 2001 we would be travelling across space.  But the fantasy died and we went nowhere.  Now a new age of space exploration is underway led by billionaires and a space race between China and India.                                             

Is it essentially human to reach out into the unknown?  Should we applaud a return to grand adventure with the potential to replenish the planet's depleted resources from the Moon, Mars and beyond? Or should we give up our 2001 fantasies and recognise the scale of space makes it an impossible game that leads only to the barren planets of the solar system?

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