It’s time to admit that we need to keep the Space Shuttle flying for a few more years. We simply can’t give up our only access to space (and the space station) for multiple years until Constellation is ready to fly.
This is especially critical now, with our relationship with Russia taking on a more complicated edge, and with Congress about to recess without approving permission to buy more seats on future Soyuz craft. As NASA administrator Mike Griffin says, this is going to almost unavoidably result in a period of time during which only the Russians will be aboard the International Space Station.
This can’t be allowed to happen. Congress needs to get off its butt and fund both the Space Shuttle through 2014 as well as fully fund the Constellation program. It’s time to man up, boys, and do what needs to be done to ensure the United States maintains its leadership role in space exploration.