Viewpoint: Commercial Space Will Renew NASA, Michael Lopez-Alegria, Aviation Week
"Decisions by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to retire NASA's space shuttle and cancel the Constellation program were both received with much--and varied--emotion among my fellow astronauts, the NASA family and others nationwide. ... As of Atlantis's final flight last July, our nation has no means to launch humans into Earth orbit from U.S. soil. Period. Whether considered from a geopolitical, economic or technological perspective, recovering that capability should be a national strategic priority. NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) represents the fastest and most cost-effective path to that end."