With the cancellation of the Constellation program in 2010 (already over budget, but angering for those who voted for the President and are huge supporters of human spaceflight), the program shifted to a somewhat nebulous goal, that is true. But it did not see the end of heavy lift spacecraft development as the above video shows. The commentator does make a good point in stating that the chances of success depend largely on Congress's continued funding and the support of future presidents, so the end point is uncertain. Such is always the case for NASA however and great things have been and will continue to be accomplished.
This commentator dismisses out of hand the idea that private industry can create and operate a system complex enough to return humanity to space themselves. However, SpaceX is a few weeks away (a week-long delay has just been announced to complete testing on docking programming) from launching their Dragon space capsule to the International Space Station. This capsule is capable of delivering supplies. It is also designed to carry a maximum crew of 7 into space and is intended to leave low earth orbit, a trick to shuttles, for all their sophistication, could not accomplish.
Yes, we have lost jobs with the closing of the shuttle program. But, there are crews at Boeing creating the future crew capsule for NASA and others working out the components for the heavy lift rocket to take it deeper into space than we have gone before.
Have we ceded the Moon to the Chinese, as the author of this article states? Not necessarily. Only time will tell. There has been strong push back against leaving the moon behind. Politicians may yet change their minds and the new rocket system, capable of reaching asteroids, will certainly be capable to returning to the moon.
Yes we are in the painful, troublesome in between years. But with private industry and NASA both striving the create crew capable craft, it may be that we won't have to wait 9 years to see American rocketry take us back to the high frontier. I don't think we have to be quite so pessimistic as the commentator would have us believe we should be.
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