while some things will be better served by machines for now, i believe our future to lie among the stars. or at least our own star system. baby steps. popular science has an article that features a propulsion system that could get humans to mars in 39 days, much better than the previous estimate of 6 months. mars is awesome, but i think we should 'practice' more with the moon first. then mars and an asteroid or two, then lets hit up some of the moons of jupiter and saturn. just recently, a likely Earth-like planet was detected just 20 light years away. if the findings hold true, that should be our ultimate goal for a fleet of generational ships. "but money is better spent Earth-side instead of on space!" this is horse-hockey. space exploration does and will provide plenty of terrestrial benefits. plus, our planet will not last forever. if we dont work on expanding out frontiers now, then when? let the next generation work on it? and so on? the lines are open. first caller?