The Augustine Commission is about to make its report to President Obama on options for NASA in the future. The Commission has done all of us a service by pointing out that NASA cannot achieve President Bush's vision for space exploration with the funds that will be available in the near term.
This means we need a new vision, and the problem is this : a vision needs to be exciting to be meaningful, and all the options currently facing NASA are rather limited, if seen on their own. We will only become enthusiastic about space exploration again if we see it in a global context, as part of a Human Space Program.
I will have more to say about this issue in future posts.