To my mind, the manned spaceflight portion of NASA is a parasite on the American people. It's now a jobs program for rocketeers. I look at it rather benignly, though. It's a waste of money, but no more than that. NASA doesn't stop anybody from doing what they want to do. No small, innovative companies -- those who will form the backbone of future space activity -- are going broke because of NASA. On the other hand, I discount heavily the potential good that NASA can do for the industry. If any of these entrepreneurial companies are relying in large part on NASA decisionmaking to help them with contracts, I think they are deluding themselves. At most, they should view NASA business as a small potential bonus." -- Don't talk about NASA.
So Dan prefers to cover SpaceX, Bigelow Aerospace, Scaled Composites, Armadillo Aerospace, and other exciting new space companies. I couldn't agree more with Dan's focus. Commercial spaceflight ventures are the talk of the new millennium. I also agree that NASA's plans will not impair anybody else's chances of achieving commercial an technological success in space.
For now, there is plenty to talk about. I include the ol' space agency because, although it may sound old school to some, I think the wide open world of human spaceflight is still big enough for NASA, too.