Encyclopedia Astronautica is an excellent website devoted to space history. You should check it out.
Despite my decidedly non-spacey civilian job (UPS dude) and less spacey military job ( United States Coast Guard...Semper Paratus!) I have always been a bit of a space cadet.
When I was born in 1970 there were men walking on the moon (the big one with the rabbit on it notCruithne the little one) and in school In the 70s and early eighties I read books talking confidently of how there would becities in space.
It was not to be....
Note that Space Based Solar
Arrays and Helium Three mining could eliminate our dependence on Mid-east oil (and oil period except for plastics and lubricants).
The obstacles standing in the way of our birthright are govt. Bureaucrats and the very real engineering/ economic problems of cost to orbit.These are solvable.
The question is, do we have the vision?
For the first time in a decade there is hope. The President, last year initiated Project Prometheus a program to develop nuclear power systems for space use. This indicates that space exploration is again looked upon with favor by the white house.
While the current war is taking most of the attention of the administration (rightly so) This is an indication that the final frontier may soon be opening again.
If not, we may live to see an earth once again in which no living person will have walked on the moon.
This is something I'll blog a bit more on as time passes.
update: info on Helium 3 mining here