More worryingly the 'greatest nation on earth' will be borrowing Soyuz spacecraft until 2015 as it will no longer have the means of reaching the International Space Station. Indeed, the perspective now is to use private companies to develop the technology to get NASA astronauts into Space.
While I understand the economic reasons to do so, this ties in with the recent US modus operandi that risks are no longer acceptable when it comes to breaking new boundaries. Exploration of Space needs to be under the auspices of governments, particularly governments which are accountable.
As a race, we are at our best looking forward onto new horizons using our brains and talents to get us there. These days we seem to be regressing into ourselves on the web and other conduits of nothingness.
Implications of budget cuts - Times Online