NOVA: Rise of the Rockets We may be witnessing the dawn of a bold new era of human activity in space for science and exploration - but also for profit. An explosion of private companies is sparking the development of new technologies and lowering costs to bring space closer than ever. And at the same time, NASA is returning to crewed spaceflight with gusto, building a rocket more powerful even than the storied Saturn V to take us far beyond Earth. But this is not the first time we've seen signs of a rocketry renaissance. In the 1980s, there was a boom - and bust - in the privatization of space travel. Will today's optimism over companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic prove prescient, or nothing more than hype and wishful thinking? One thing is certain: As costs come down and rockets with new capabilities come online, a new generation is reaching for the cosmos, daring to dream big and yearning to go farther, in greater numbers than ever before.
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