Here’s the funny thing about space: Ask people what they think about it and you’ll get every kind of answer. We should colonize Mars! We should stay home! We should look for life! Space, really, is a giant Rorschach. Into it we send rockets and satellites and space stations. But more than that, we send beliefs. About what is meaningful. About what is possible. About what is inescapable. ... space is back. Musk, Branson, Bezos. Each pursuing a pet project: Build reusable rockets and ultimately colonize Mars. Send ultrarich tourists on the world’s most expensive roller coaster. Mine asteroids. NASA, meanwhile, keeps plugging away at its science and robots. ... It’s hard to know how seriously to take any of it—there’s no focus. Yet the pace of space news keeps accelerating like a hailstorm on a roof. ... Spend time in New Mexico and you start to hear about the two space ages. The first is all Goddard and von Braun and big, lumbering, one-off rockets the size of skyscrapers that are built by big government and the military-industrial complex for hundreds of millions of dollars so we can send a tiny group of humans to the moon. The second space age is all about you. And it’s all about something you hear a lot these days—that the “barrier to entry” is now low enough that soon, to paraphrase Elwood Blues, you, me, them, everybody will get to space. ... I feel we’re back where the US space program was in the days of Ham. Hokey as it sounds, yes, this is the dawn of the second space age. And we are in a moment when we are struggling to figure it out. The good news is it’s not just NASA working the problem.