The future is closer than we think. While we recognize that failures are part of birthing a new industry especially one like private space, the tragic failure of SpaceX's Falcon 9 on June 28 2015, signifies that rockets are too complex a technology to deliver long term repeatability.
Will we look back and ask ourselves whether the decision to abandon space was a wise decision? Or will historians look back and identify this decision as a textbook example of when America sacrificed long-term strategic goals for short-term interests.
The problem of Moon preservation is amusingly arcane, but we should do something soon. Otherwise, we'll likely succumb to our historic modes of exploration: just barrel ahead, and damn the consequences.
From an economic point of view, water on the Moon is the equivalent of finding "gold in the hills of California." There is the potential for a California gold rush to hit the space community in the years ahead.
I told Burt Rutan, designer of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne, in the presence of all the other competitors, that he would win the competition. This was hard for a lot of people to accept, but I was right.