I want to wish a happy 50th birthday to everyone at NASA.
Born out of the desire to prove American technical superiority, today's NASA has to struggle to prove to necessity of existence. There are those that believe the paltry amount spent on NASA would be better used building smart bombs or funding the federal education bureaucracy.
Currently, NASA is struggling to maintain an aging shuttle fleet, provide American access to the ISS and develop the next-gen launch system Constellation. The specter of being dependent on long time rival Russia for access to the ISS looms large with the presidential mandate to retire the Shuttle fleet in 2010. NASA has a rough road ahead but with the right leadership, budget and motivation (Russian and Chinese lunar outposts), NASA can regain its past position of pre-emininence.
Per Aspera, Ad Adstra