Space X is a fantastic example of the capability and prowess of small, entrepreneurial businesses in the US. Within a few short years, the company which was founded in 2002 has developed a system capable of launching a space vehicle into Earth's orbit and have it dock with the space station. It will do this for the first time next month. This was completely unthinkable 20 years ago.
A lot has changed since NASA first began its mission to explore space. The agency is controlled by a ridiculously whimsical government; a government which cannot decide where to spend all of the massive amounts of printed money next and one where each successive administration feels the need to cancel anything desired by the opposing party. A government which has become risk adverse. A government where decisions are made by opinion polls and committees formed by committees. See despair.com for a laugh.
As has been the story of the ages, what NASA accomplished in the 60's with the Apollo missions is neigh on miraculous. Everything they did was state of the art, do or die, cavalier, never been tried before. I don't think we have enough adjectives for the significance of the lunar landing. For crying out loud, the computers that they used were woven by hand.
The equivalent would today would be if we found a new propulsion system, maybe something like a railgun, developed a craft using entirely new materials and quantum or biological computers, with the goal for it to take a small crew of astronauts to lead a Martian expedition and safely return. With a deadline of 2025.
Companies like Space X are becoming the new NASA is the original spirit of the group. In a period of 10 years, Space X will have developed an entirely new rocket and be able to transport humans to the ISS. While being privately funded.
NASA succeeded in the 60's because it was free of the bureaucratic mess that is rampant today. Space X (and Virgin Galatic, etc) is making such amazing progress because it can focus and get the job done by motivated individuals working towards a common goal without the constant nagging by the Nanny State.
The US Government is too big to be success at enterprise. It needs to get out of the way and let individuals invest and create and take risks. America was founded by people willing to risk everything - and much of this mentality can still be found today. Unfortunately, the welfare state government that leftists are trying to impose on us is sucking the life out of our great culture! We need to fight back to get government down to size so that the spirit of America can be unbridled again. It is still here. We still have it. Space X is the proof.