NASA has announced three awards for technology demonstration space missions, all set to fly within four years. More details here.
The three missions are:
- A solar sail demonstration mission, flying a sail 38 by 38 meter sail.
- A demonstration of in-space laser/optical communications technologies.
- The use of a high-precision atomic clock in space.
I especially like the solar sail mission because of its long range possibilities, though the other technologies would probably be put to practical use more quickly.