JPLR writes: From the moment the Soviets launched Sputnik I into orbit around the Earth in 1957, everybody looked upon the so-called space race as just one thing: a military contest. But physicists were quick to point out that nobody would choose space as a place from which to attack Earth. As a result, the space program has been killing time for 40 years with a series of orbital projects
The purpose of those orbital projects has been mainly to keep the lights on at NASA.
But there is no high purpose in those projects.
And once more it is the late Wernher von Braun who comes up: At this moment, what remains the only solution to recovering NASA's true destiny, is of course... .