When I was little, back in the 1960s, I believed that people would be colonizing the moon and Mars by the time 2000 rolled around. I believed in the promise, believed in the dream. But nowadays, I am disappointed—no, I am bitter about the fact that we’ve turned our attentions and energy to war rather than to space exploration. Belief is hard to come by.
But every so often, something happens to revive my hopes. Yesterday, I was watching videos on YouTube, and I ran across the clip of Anousheh Ansari being welcomed aboard the International Space Station. My old feelings of excitement returned. Sure, cynics may say that Ansari’s just deadweight, someone who bought her way to space. But she’s there. And if other tourists like her are willing to pay for the trip, then people who want to make money will find a way to keep the dream alive.