If we can survive the seeming pending global economic collapse, the nutjob craziness of every damn religion on the planet AND the destruction of the environment as we know and love it, maybe we can finally do this...
Yeah! Space elevators! My favorite SF technological gimmick idea may finally become reality. Seems some really smart guy types have developed the means to make the cable that is needed to stretch from Earth to space to make an elevator system to orbit possible. They are using nanotubes to do this, combining them in a new way, that will make a material strong enough and stretch enough to make this dream reality.
What's so cool about this, you ask? Because it means space travel is no longer expensive. Instead of hundreds of millions of dollars to boost one rocket or shuttle into the sky, just throw that satellite in a box and pop it into the next cargo pod going up. People and materials will be constantly flowing out into space while space manufactured goods can be cheaply and easily brought down. This is the beginning of humankind's next real challenge - colonizing the Solar System. The resources we need are all out there - we just need a cheap way to leave Earth's gravity well and go get them.
If this doesn't make you crap your pants with excitement, you are already dead inside.