"I know there have been a number of questions raised about my administration's plan for space exploration, especially in this part of Florida where so many rely on NASA as a source of income as well as a source of pride and community. And these questions come at a time of transition, as the Space Shuttle nears its scheduled retirement after almost thirty years of service. This adds to the worry of folks concerned not only about their own futures, but about the future of a space program to which they have devoted their lives."
Keith's note: My earlier characterization of the event at KSC as being a "flyby" was due in great part to the nearth total blackout in terms of what would be happening. PAO knew nothing and therefore shared nothing. Internal plans were constantly shifting around. Up until the other day, all that was known publicly was landing, departure, and speech time. Nothing else. Now we see that there was a lot more to this event. So I hereby rescind my "flyby" moniker. As far as what the agenda and intent of this series of events were supposed to be, at first OSTP held NASA back and then it started to leak stuff ahead of NASA. In the future, America's space program would be better served by making the nature of such events much more open that there be better coordination - by and from - the White House.
Marc's note: Today we're starting a new trial feature called The Cape Insider with Jason Rhian reporting from the cape. We encourage you to interact with Jason. Your feedback is important to us. His first story is:
"His remarks added further detail to plan and corrected rumors that were flying about in that there will be no more shuttle flights after the three currently planned. A date for manned missions beyond the moon was announced as taking place by 2025 with an initial mission to an asteroid."