My brother 11top sent me a link to this way-cool video:
I sat down with my 5-year-old to watch and discuss. She was blown away at the idea that WE can be aliens too. After the video was over we looked at photos from Mars. We discussed all sorts of ideas that twisted her developing mind; things like infinite space... how something as big as the Earth can float in space... how Earth can be in space but humans cannot without a proper suit... and how air can be hot if we move too fast (re-entry)... and so on.
She was really working through a lot of this in her head and, eventually, wandered into her play room to ponder the mystery. 15 minutes later she emerged with this illustration (below). It is complete with satellites, space-ships, stars, and planets. The "Big Mac" is Jupiter.
There are some who question the value of space travel (especially in these difficult economic times) but I see things like this illustration and wonder how far her generation will go BECAUSE interplanetary travel isn't a dream. It is an incredible reality that sets a baseline for newer, bigger, farther dreams. Her generation will imagine and develop possibilities that we've never even considered.
I hope I'm around long enough to see it.