The Mars landing is interesting stuff but I think rather more important is the new approach NASA has taken. Three days ago they announced they were funding the development of commercial manned spaceflight to the tune of a billion dollars.
"The Sierra Nevada Corporation will get $212.5 million, and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will receive $440 million. The largest chunk will go to the Boeing Company, slated for $460 million. "
"On the heels of NASA’s big news, SpaceX announced today that it plans to undertake its first manned flight by 2015. In May, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to successfully launch a spacecraft towards the International Space Station. "
I've been saying for decades that the pace of space exploration would never pick up until commercial interests and private enterprise were more involved. Now it seems it's going to start to happen: SpaceX are already making cargo trips, bus trips soon, Virgin's sub-orbital flights aren't far off... I reckon any company that's ferrying staff too and from the ISS is soon gonna ask itself why they don't build their own... anyway I predict big changes
edit: those quotes were from thishttp://mashable.com/2012/08/03/nasa-commercial-spaceships/
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? ~~ Oddball