When the shuttle program ends, it will be the end of the US manned space flight program.
I think this is probably the real summary - the USA basically can't afford space operations beyond satellite launch/maintenance anymore. Nerdy dreams to to the contrary, it's all over.
The torch will be passed to someone else, probably in a decade or two. Likely the Chinese, but who knows.
I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman