Here's a good capsule comment on the Obama administration from its NASA boss, Charles Bolden-
"I have no desire to do a Mars landing on our own," Bolden said. "The U.S. cannot always be the leader, but we can be the inspirational leader through international cooperation" in space exploration.
Obama administration plans are for the $17.7 billion space agency to land an astronaut on an asteroid in 2025, then go to Mars by the middle of the 2030s.
The mission inevitably will be international, as will any future human landings on the moon, Bolden said. "We already have gone there first," he said.
At that rate, China will be the ones getting there well ahead of NASA, but maybe not ahead of the US, for it seems more likely that a private endeavor might do the trick before the Kumbaya crowd gets its ducks in a row. With the EU in a tail-spit, it would take either a rich Arab oilman or a rich Anglospherian billionaire to finance a deal.
Space seems to have more of a libertarian future as we go forward, since the public sector doesn't have the [insert male gonad slang] to pulll it off.