The Obama Administration is committed to the concept of private companies handling future missions but that is the equivalent of a shipping company taking over the mission of the U.S. Navy.
Passenger cruises around the Caribbean are not the same as patrolling the Straits of Hormuz.
NASA has no more control over its future than one of its satellites whose fuel is used up and whose mission is long over. It is drifting aimlessly, slowly succumbing to the pull of the gravity of Congress' lack of funding, slowed ever so slightly during every orbit on every day by the cold molecules of the atmosphere of public indifference.
The future of manned spaceflight? Who will issue the call to "boldly go where no man has gone before?" We can't figure out how to raise the debt limit much less launch a mission to Mars.
The plaque that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left behind on the moon reads:
HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY 1969 A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND
Who knows what good might come of an international effort to place a plaque on the planet Mars, by a crew which came in peace, on a mission by all mankind, for all mankind.
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