The near-earth asteroid called 2012 DA14 is expected to pass by Earth on February 15, 2013 with an estimated distance between it and Earth of (get this!) of no closer than 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers). That minimum distance is closer than our communications satellites circling around Earth.
The Obayashi Corporation in Japan says it can use carbon nanotube technology to build a space elevator into space - extending from Earth's surface to more than 96,000 kilometers (59,520 miles) in altitude. And they hope to do it by 2050. My fingers are crossed in anticipation!
The U.S. space agency NASA is considering the option of using a manned base located at Earth-Moon libration point 2, which is the point about 60,000 kilometers past the far-side of the Moon that is a balanced point between the gravitational fields of Earth and the Moon.