Current NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden, speaking a few weeks ago at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, explained how our nation's space program is at a crossroads and pledged to continue manned missions into space.
A combination of the federal budget deficit and a number of successful unmanned space endeavors—think Hubble, Mars Rovers—has dimmed Dubya's plan to put man back in space in a big way. Bolden, however, refuses to let the Astronaut die on his watch.
"I do not see this president being the president who presides over the end of human spaceflight," he said. Bolden expressed an interest in partnering with other nations on practical manned missions, in addition to continuing to develop more efficient space flight technologies. Still, there are many powerful voices who consider manned spaceflight a frivolous endeavor.
NASA's course will be determined in large part by Barack Obama and the funding he allots to the agency in the next few weeks. Here's to hoping he's looking towards the stars. [PhysOrg]