NASA launched its MAVEN Mars probe yesterday. They hope to learn more about the martian atmosphere. “MAVEN” stands for “Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN.” (It only took a little a bit of work to get that acronym.)
They used an Atlas V for the launch vehicle. Curiously, the second stage is a Centaur rocket. Looking at Centaur’s history, you can see they’ve been flying since 1962. I guess if it still works, keep using it. But, still, that’s 51 years.
But if you want to see one future of space flight, see the work that SpaceX is doing. It’s fully expected for a rocket to launch vertically. It’s quite another thing to see it land that way.
See also: The Apollo Space Comment.