There seems to have been an uptick in the last year or two of interest in outer space... More going on up there, in terms of human activity or projectiles bringing back information... more discoveries.... more proposed missions and plans and talk of stuff to be done up there, both state driven and private enterprise based.... and there has also been more in terms of popular culture stuff about space - movies.
Like for instance, NASA's publicity department is noticeably more active these days. Not a week seems to go by where they don't flag up some new discovery about space, or images from a probe... Perhaps they simply have an improved publicity relations dept, or they are being strategic - keeping visibly busy in order to hustle continued levels of funding from the US government.
But certainly they LOOK like they're up to a lot c.f. the dormant public profile of NASA in the 2000s.
Whether this is having any effect on public appetite or interest in outer space is unclear - as I say, does seem like an increase in the number of films set in space in the last two or three years.
It would be lovely to think there's a renaissance of popular excitement about Mankind's next big adventure. But those who say it probably makes more sense to focus all energies and resources on fixing the looming problems facing terrestial existence do have a point. Need something stable and in good shape to step off from, giantly.