The space shuttle Discovery is making its last trip to the International Space Station. Endeavour will make its last trip to ISS on April 19 and Atlantis makes one last trip on June 28. American shuttles will then be relegated to museums and become the subjects of countless books. The ISS occupants will be relying on Russian shuttles for supplies and crew changes. If I were on the ISS I would be trying to book a flight back home as soon as possible.
All of a sudden the good old U.S.A. has put space travel on the back burner. Sure, Obama has spinned a program which will supposedly have systems in place to get us to Mars in 2035. WOW! 2035! That's quite a commitment. Kennedy must be rolling over in his grave. I'll bet my bottom dollar that there will be all kinds of changes to that program well before 2035, reducing it to a trip to Disneyland for a simulated ride to Mars.
What all this means to me is that our wars have stripped our pocketbook. I would liken it to an unemployed father explaining to his family that they will have to forgo that vacation trip to Florida this year but maybe they can go to Europe in about twenty years. In the meantime, while he looked for a job, the children might be be able to hitch a ride to Florida with their neighbor.
In case Russia falters on its shuttle program, it has been suggested that private corporations will come to the rescue with a commercial space shuttle. That ought to be an expensive ride which we can't afford. It all adds up to getting those fearless astronauts on the ISS back home as soon as possible. Why not use the last flights of Endeavour and Atlantis. You ask what is to become of the International Space Station? I'm sure the Chinese will be glad to lease it as a rest stop on their way to Mars by 2025.