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.
For some time, the outlines of an Obama Doctrine have been apparent. It can be summarized in nine damning words: Embolden our enemies. Undermine our friends. Diminish our country.
Meaningful deep-space exploration requires human participation for meaningful results. And, according to The New York Times, NASA is facing "a brain drain that threatens to undermine safety as well as the agency's plans."
The commercial interests for a human presence in space will create the kind of market need that can only be met by the kind of extraordinary innovation that Americans are famous for. I predict that the baton will naturally be passed from the government-operated NASA to private firms who will find resourceful ways to meet the demand.