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Though I don’t agree with all of Dinerman’s points, he provides a complete and excellent analysis of the present political state of NASA. To me, the key quote is this:
NASA’s Administrator and his Deputy worked hard, along with the President’s science advisor and the rest of the White House team, to alienate a critical mass of members of Congress by ignoring their concerns, rejecting their advice and blindsiding them with critical space policy decisions. The Obama administration then wrecked the previous program on the grounds that it was underfunded and behind schedule, and replaced it with a new program that looks as if it is now underfund and behind schedule. Congressmen and women being human, and under massive pressure to cut spending, have now cut the guts out of the space agency’s proposed budget.