The final frontier?
For now, that searching question stands an unfortunate fact. We want to know more, of course, but there is no clear need for the revelations we may or may not gain from our desired endeavours, or none that we can easily see.
And so we wait, painfully aware that—even if the Powers That Be see reason—we are lamentably unlikely to see a man on Mars in our lifetimes.
Maybe our children will. I want that for them.
But neither you nor I nor they, in their day, will find out what awaits on the other side of the interstellar space NASA’s lonely Voyager probe is on track to chart; the odds are simply not in our favour, I’m afraid. But we can wonder, can’t we? We can imagine. We can read and write and damn it, we can dream.
So for the foreseeable future, space may indeed be the final frontier in fact, but fiction, by its very definition, need not be held back by what is. Instead, its pioneers ask: what if? And occasionally, incredibly, what if is what is.