This morning the Orion spacecraft was launched on its test flight after its launch on Thursday was postponed. Tomorrow New Horizons wakes up out of hiberation for its flyby of Pluto and Charon. And recently Wanderers, a short film narrated by Carl Sagan, was released on the internet.
I grew up watching the space program advance. I fully believed as a child, reading science fiction and watching Star Trek when it first aired, that there would be colonies on the moon and at least Mars in my lifetime. Just these three items this week are enough to make me excited about space again. Science fiction has always been about hope, and YA science fiction especially so. My favorite branch of science fiction includes space travel, the hope that we will finally leave this planet and see what's out there.
It's hard to keep that hope alive when watching the space program's budget get cut again and again. But there are always things here and there to keep that interest sparking - The Astronomy Picture of the Day, Philae landing on a comet nucleus, views of auroras as seen from the International Space Station.
Kudos to those who continue to work to keep that hope alive, both in the real world and in fiction.