The theory of the multiverse is that there are an endless number of universes and worlds with an endless number of possibilities.
This is just one possibility.
In a world where superheroes are heavily relied on and are a growing race, they are gradually becoming more powerful. Society is crumbling and the lower classes struggle to survive. Pollution is so bad that people can no longer be outside in the dark. There are no more cars or buses, instead they have been replaced with hover boards that operate using magnets and old pipelines. All buildings are tall and rise above the grey/green smog constantly cloaking the cities. Special clothes have to be worn for protection.
Society has moved backwards and become more barbaric. Old cities are derelict and some rebels live there, using the iron to get about. The government control everyone and everything and any difference is regarded as unwanted and bad. Most people are have reformed, but there is a castaway group deemed as a lost cause. These are the rebels.
Nasa have run out of options and have nothing else they can explore. There is no more research to be done and they have reached their technological and physical boundaries. It's now a case of counting down the weeks until someone finds out and they are disbanded. As one final push, they are making space travel private. The first private vessel they are going to send up will contain famous people to set the standards and raise interest in space travel one again.