You could make the case that right now is the most exciting time in a generation to be young and interested in space. The Space Shuttle is preparing for its final flights, soon to be replaced by a new era of launch technology. "NewSpace" companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic are lowering launch costs, paving the way for large-scale space exploration. Incentive competitions such as the Google Lunar X PRIZE are both spurring research and development and creating dozens of new groups for young graduates to bring their skills to.
These are indeed heady times for the young and starry-eyed (of which, incidentally, your author counts himself as one), and these future space leaders aren't just sitting in class, waiting to join in. At college campuses and high schools around the world, students are actively preparing for a future in space, using weather balloons to photograph the curvature of the earth, engaging in rocketry competitions, and even designing orbital space settlements.
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Year in review: 2010's most popular stories -- Ars Technica
The most memorable images of 2010 -- Salon