It seems that in an era of epic spending, NASA is going to get the axe. As one of the few agencies that is focused on future things, not months or years but decades and centuries out, this will mark a very real turning point in American history. Already, with the shutdown of the Shuttle program, America will cease to have any means of taking humanity beyond the gravity well we call Earth, and will instead be reliant on Russian capsules and private industry for the continued operation of the ISS until its de-orbit sometime between 2014 and the mid 2020’s. Yes, the United States of America, one of the key pioneers in pushing the envelope of humanity’s drive to further “explore strange new worlds” will cease to be space-faring. Instead, the Obama administration will direct the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to focus on terrestrial science. The irony, usually comical, instead leaves me now in a betrodden state of sincere disappointment.