fucking texas, the oil state, is and has been deliberately slashing nasa's budget just as soon as they realised that nasa was going to eventually, inevitably, discover technologies which would supplant their product.
Huston has a problem, with not getting paid in oil.
This is the reason the space shuttle's design got played-back so hard.
From an original, huge, lifter vehicle with the orbiter atop it - taking off from a runway similar to spaceshipone - scaled down to a rougher orbiter with increased payload capacity (due to air force imposition). this is what happened to the original shuttle envisioned in the 60s.
fucking vietnam, the problems with the firehoses and the bus seating down south.
Long story short, the government doesn't want us to progress any more. if we progress suffeciently it is obvious that we will no longer have a need for government.
The new dark age might be just around the corner. a decade? two decades?
What will it take? war with china or some stupid bullshit.
What's nasa's number again? I need to explain to them that it is urgent that I get off the planet immediately!