posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 02:25 PM
Space exploration has sadly lost a considerable amount of interest over the past decade or two.
Back when the U.S. sent men to the moon, it was a race not only against the Soviets but also to meet JFK's famous deadline. So, because of the
political power gained by going to the moon and the considerable amount of public interest in it, NASA was given a much larger budget.
Once Apollo was over, years passed until the shuttle program was eventually ready. The thing about the shuttle is that, although it's an incredible
vehicle, it can only put us in Earth's orbit. Obviously, by the first shuttle mission in 1981, Earth orbit was already familiar with the public.
Other than such major events as the Challenger and Columbia disasters, John Glenn's return to space, and the Hubble Telescope, public interest in
NASA as a whole has gone down considerably. Also, NASA holds only a fraction of the political power it once did.
The less people care and the less political power it holds, the less of a budget it's going to get.
I doubt NASA is going anywhere, but it just isn't the limitless agency it once was that everyone cheered on.
It's sad, really, as everytime we put people into space it's something to behold. But that's just how public interest is.