I’m a little sad because it feels like the end of a chapter that began with our young charismatic President John F. Kennedy and now comes to an end during the term of another young charismatic President. I understand that in this time of extreme choices regarding our fiscal welfare as a nation, our space program would be one of the victims of budgetary cuts. Apparently, the taxiing of our astronauts will be at first, under contract with the Russians, and then sometime in the future, the astronauts will be ferried by private airlines. According to the director of NASA the retirement of the space shuttle will free NASA to do more exploratory work outside of the familiar international space station. We shall see in the next decade, if the funds and the will be available to continue our exploratory mission in outer space.
I think that the future of NASA is a little precarious for right now. The spirit in D.C. is strictly focused on cutting everything that is not attached to something permanent. Since one party is absolutely intractably committed to saying no to any revenue increases, the only solution left is for the other party to accept draconian spending cuts to any and all domestic programs. It is a pity for our space program because without funding the whole program is in limbo, and that makes it almost impossible to keep up with the proper technologies for future explorations.