I did get (and continue to receive) criticism, though, for presuming that there would be huge nuclear powered mining ships scooting around the solar system a mere 50 years from now. Here's a recent example:
"I found Reynolds' timeline a bit absurd, though. I'll be impressed if we've managed a manned mission to Mars by 2057 - for humans to be mining comets on an industrial scale by then would require an incredible revolution in space travel."
Now, I have no problem with that criticism - it's a perfectly valid point of debate. And yes, from the standpoint of 2011, I'm markedly less sanguine about our chances of establishing an extensive human presence off-Earth by the middle of the century. Blue Remembered Earth is purposefully vague about the next couple of decades, but I do state that there will have been one hundred people on Mars by the year 2059 (and despite the similarity of those two dates, it's not remotely the same future).
But really - 50 years. That's a long old time. It's enough to go from:
Which, when you think about it, is pretty astonishing. Even more so when you appreciate that many of the key technologies of the Apollo program were essentially mature by the start of the 1960s. The Saturn F1 main engines were part of a program that originated in 1955, a full 14 years before the Moon landings - and a mere 36 after Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in a Vickers Vimy.
So you can do quite a lot in 50 years, if you put your mind to it.