Absolutely true. We have seen the US stuck in a rut ever since Russia fell apart. That combined with Globalisation and general world peace has seen progress into space somewhat stifled. I'm resting my hopes on the X prize which I see as our only hope of obtaining affordable realistic spaceflight in our lifetimes. Ironically enough one of the competitors has re-invented the V2. A Canadian team has reworked this lost technology which was last assembly lined cheaply back in WW2 and is arguably the first space capable rocket ever invented although it was more aptly called a missile. Instead of a tonne of explosive warhead they will filling it with life support systems and three passengers. If successful in building this vehicle then irrespective of whether or not they win the contest, they will have proven a 60 year old design more capable than NASA's most state of the art efforts. Nobody can tell me that war doesn't ignite innovation. Not without me laughing out loud. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Stars with Heavy Metals more likely to have planets. This is interesting. Has a couple of links to recent stories at Space Daily. It seems that stars low in metal tend not to have planets. That sounds logical. Maybe this was what Dwayne was trying to say when he described star systems trading in metals. That averages out to more than double the expected figure of stars with planets if my mediocre math skills are correct. Since planets are necessary for life it means an increased likelihood of life in our stellar neighbourhood. I'm not really surprised. This seems really obvious and I can't help but wonder why nobody thought to check earlier. It might throw Dwaynes theory out the window (sorry Dwayne). If large amounts of metals are necessary for the creation of sizable planets and consequently life then there will be no Aliens with a metal shortage.