The Petri dish is one of those simple little inventions in which amazing things take place. Shallow glass in the shape of a dish and filled with growth media. Add a dab of bacteria and the colony will grow if the food is to its liking. Now put two different types of biological specimens in the dish and sometimes convergent evolution causes the two organisms, not closely related at the start, to independently acquire similar characteristics while evolving in separate and varying ecosystems.
Such has happened in the Petri dish that is the Space Coast in Florida. The candidates vying for votes in this critical state have now converged to effectively the same plan for its future. What started, for an instant, to look like an issue that might roll forward into the campaigns has now been resolved.
And so Sam Ting wins his ignominious battle and will finally see his payload fail on orbit. That cracks open the door to flying the space shuttle past 2010. Like Pringles, we won't be able to have just one, but thanks to the Russians, we will have another, and then another, and then...
ARES-1 will get to go forward for another year until it shakes itself out of our future for good on its first flight. Our tried and not always true back-up will be ready on the pad, the "gap" will be closed, and a new one will be formed by the Chinese soon thereafter.
With twice a year shuttle flights, COTS will become a ill-conceived reminder to all who ever attempt to bring commercial fruits to the government. The Space 2.0 crowd will start to have their reunion parties and reminisce like the Space 1.0 crowd did with the Emperor in Alamogordo last week ("We share scar tissue.").
The Emperor will live on with his six degrees and promises to protect the aging assets. Like Skywalker, his intentions found the dark side and set the wheels in motion. He mortgaged our spacefaring dreams and all that remains are the aging hulks from the 70s, flying with band-aids, aiming for the 2020s.
Yes, the campaigns have converged, and our futures may now be foretold.