The Economist features an article this week about space after the space shuttle. The end of the Space Age Inner space is useful. Outer space is history [image=http://media.economist.com/images/images-magazine/2011/07/02/ld/20110702_ldp001.jpg] [...] The future, then, looks bounded by that new outer limit of planet Earth, the geostationary orbit. Within it, the buzz of activity will continue to grow and fill the vacuum. This part of space will be tamed by humanity, as the species has tamed so many wildernesses in the past. Outside it, though, the vacuum will remain empty. There may be occasional forays, just as men sometimes leave their huddled research bases in Antarctica to scuttle briefly across the ice cap before returning, for warmth, food and company, to base. But humanity?s dreams of a future beyond that final frontier have, largely, faded. The article doesn't mention the vast riches in our solar system as a reason to still want to explore it further. Would that be because it might be unfeasible? What do people here think?