Arthur C. Clarke may have been on to something when he said the moon is just a stepping stone to the stars.
Today we are commemorating the first 50 years of manned spaceflight -- which was signalled by John F. Kennedy's visionary speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962 -- by taking a look at the next 100 years of spaceflight.
A good place to start is to look at the DARPA-funded non-governmental organization called 100-Year Starship which is organizing a public symposium in Houston starting tomorrow. The goal is to target interstellar travel within 100 years. It is difficult to even comprehend this goal, let alone conceive of a plan to accomplish it. We are not even close. And yet, this 100-year project is looking to usher in radical breakthroughs in numerous fields that might make the seemingly impossible possible, and this effort also promises to have the side effect of dramatically improving our lives here on Earth.