In my last two posts, I have been denouncing the doomers and gloomers of our world who are still bemoaning the so-called end of the space era with the last flight of the space shuttle. NASA has selected seven firms to provide near-space flight services. See http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=34303 for more information.
JUNO is on its way to Jupiter.
DAWN is still heading toward Pluto and will fly past Pluto in 2015.
Curosity is prepping for its two-year exploration of Mars.
At last check, several other spacecraft are orbiting Mars and Cassini is still orbiting Saturn.
The space agencies of China, India, Russia and Europe have plans in the works to land robotic spacecraft on our moon within the next year or two.
The Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle, that I thought was cancelled by President Obama, just underwent a splash test on August 2, 2011 (see http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/index.html). This is a vehicle designed to carry 6 astronauts, comfortably.
This is not the end of space exploration. It is the beginning.