The epitome of why the government shouldn't be counted on to things that would be best left to private industry, NASA. I know that if it bleeds it leads, so almost all of the news coverage for NASA is negative. But what successes do they have to counter the negative. I think it starts with the Challenger disaster, a great inspiration for elementary school names. Since then we have had the Hubble Telescope, the Mars Probes, Discovery, every shuttle take off since Discovery, the space station (which sounds like serving on board would be likened to service on a World War One submarine), and now according to an AP story, the new design for the replacement to the shuttle program is said to shake too much. Is it any wonder that our children no longer aspire to be astronauts. Oh, I forgot to mention the astronaut love triangle.
Going to the moon again sounds great. Going to Mars sounds even better. I think our best chance of success for these missions is to leave it to private industry. Once there is money to be made in such exploration, we won't see exploding shuttles, blurry telescopes, and probes that don't respond to commands. What is hard to take is that it might not happen in our lifetime. I think that is okay. In the meantime, I honor those who have given their lives and those that will continue to do so.