The Washington Post is running another story about outsourcing overseas. A cool $2.6 billion will be headed to our dear Russian friends, the same folks opposing our policies for Iraq and Iran, for transportation to the space station between fiscal 2009 and 2013. The Emperor calls the situation his "greatest regret and greatest concern." For most of the five-year gap, he said, "we will be largely dependent on the Russians, and that is terrible place for the United States to be. I'm worried, and many others are worried."
He should be concerned. He put us in that position. Single handedly. The gap continues to be blamed on lack of resources and not on the real root cause. One clear indication is that the wrong questions continue to be asked by Congress as well. Sen. Nelson is one of the big offenders. For instance, "How much more budget do you need?" No wonder Florida's delegates aren't being counted!
In reality, we should be asking, "What can you do for what you have?" Asking that one simple question would force the Emperor and his minions to re-visit the ill-conceived Constellation architecture and extract the cost effective and timely solution that was identified long ago. Favor frequency over scale, use existing, FLYING now, EELVs for crew and cargo launch, downsize the CEV to fit.
And get in the air well before 2014. It can be done. You only have to go to Las Vegas to see that plan coming together. Mr. Emperor, Congressfolk, google 'Bigelow Aerospace' if you want to see how to close the gap.
And above all else, live within our means.