As the Space Shuttle Era Ends, What's Next for NASA?

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After 30 years and an investment of some $200 billion, the Space Shuttle Program ended this morning when Atlantis touched down at Cape Canaveral. As one era of space exploration comes to an end, what's in store for the next one? Also, states are making plans for a federal default, and disputes about rural airports and anti-union measures have required 19 stop-gap funding extensions for the Federal Aviation Administration. Can Congress agree on a twentieth by tomorrow's deadline?

Banner image: Space shuttle Atlantis lands for the final time at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls