I would suggest strongly that the reference goes well beyond NASA:
At the end of this year a new era will dawn at NASA. It will mark a first-ever period for our civil space program – the era of nothing. Since its inception, even if it has only been through fantastical imagery, NASA always had, ‘the next thing.’ In the beginning there was the X-15, then Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs. Near the end of the Apollo Program it was announced that the shuttle program had been approved and would be moving forward.
With the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003 it was decided that the next thing would be a return to the old thing – manned space exploration. This was supposed to come in the form of the Constellation Program, a byproduct of the ‘Vision for Space Exploration’ with its moon, Mars and beyond philosophy. Then President Barack Obama came into office and changed all that.
So President Obama can talk vaguely of going on to Mars and the asteroids all he likes, his plan in its current state, leaves America with neither the hardware to do it nor, (after they are laid off) the workforce to build it. Even some of the most despised presidents in American history, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush left us with manned space programs, (the shuttle and Constellation Programs respectively). Obama, just a little over a year in office has not only given us nothing, he has taken away the little we had.
And he’s not finished yet… that’s the scary part.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.