NASA has scheduled the final launch of the space shuttle Atlantis for Friday. This 12-day mission to the International Space Station not only will be the final space-shuttle flight, but, without a serious course correction, augurs the end of America’s pre-eminence in space altogether.
Since 1960, America’s space program has been the crown jewel and Exhibit A of American exceptionalism. It has been a symbol of our spirit, ingenuity and technological prowess. It has fueled and sustained an economic expansion unparalleled in history and has powered the most awesome and unrivaled global military capability since the Roman Empire.