In the SCO Codex it explains that a disaster on Mars that killed colonists cut back the space program after that. I accept that the game needs the space program to not be too advanced, so I don't want anything changed, but I actually think it is more likely that we will have a large presence in space than have a singularity (full artificial general intelligence) in the next few decades. But I love how the Singularity was used in SCO. I know about Vernor Vinge's graph predicting the singularity, but there are two major flaws with it. One, the technological acceleration graph may be too optimistic especially with Moore's Law applying to integrated circuits being dead since 2016 (I believe Ars Technica) (see below parody of this):
I agree with this type of singularity but don't know how long it will take:
But not this type of singularity (see the razor parody above):
Second, people have been saying for decades that artificial intelligence is just around the corner. 2001 A Space Odyssey was supposed to be a conservative prediction of HAL being a full artificial general intelligence and we still don't have HAL except for expert systems doing chess playing and Jeopardy! and voice recognition.
BFR will orbit the moon in 2023 with artist passengers
Ok honestly it will probably be a little bit later than 2023 because SpaceX has never met a completion date on time yet.
SpaceX already builds partly reusable (first stage only returns to the launch pad) rockets that they plan to get fully reusable (the Falcon and Falcon Heavy), which should be a lot cheaper than the disposable rockets we have now (the Space Shuttle appears to be reusable, but they have to tear the engines down and rebuild them every time because they run the engines over the redline (110%), also the heat shield has to be carefully inspected because it is made of ceramic tiles).
The BFR will be able to be refueled in space so it can send a full payload to Mars, refuel on the surface of Mars (a drone fuel BFR would be sent there first), then return to Earth. The BFR can also send a smaller payload to the outer plantes, or refuel more on the way and send a larger payload.