But no more.
With SpaceX's successful rocket launch on May 22, commercial space travel is now a concrete, viable reality... and one that will yield lots of investment opportunities in the very near future.
After a three-day delay, the well-funded startup's private space ship - a gumdrop-shaped capsule called Dragon - rocketed into outer space.
It then docked with the International Space Station on the very first try. SpaceX made history. It was the first time a private firm has flown such a mission.
In an article a few weeks ago entitled: "SpaceX Picks Up Where NASA Left Off"- I predicted the venture would succeed.
Now that it has, I believe this event will serve as the tipping point for the whole commercial space sector.
And to think, we have a small group of billionaire investors to thank for it all...
SpaceX Opens the Door to a New AgeA handful of visionary leaders, drawn mostly from the high-tech sector, make up what I have come to call the "New Gilded Age."
For those of you who may not recall from your school days and history classes, the first Gilded Age happened in late 1800s America.
Back then, a select few wealthy men made enormous fortunes for themselves in oil, steel, and the like, and used part of that money to help build the nation.
They built the railroads and the telegraph system. They also donated huge sums to U.S. colleges to vault those institutions of learning well ahead of those in Europe. All of which set the stage for the huge economic boom that helped launch America as a global power.
I contend that the same thing is happening again.
Before I explain, I want to point out something about the first "Gilded Age."