Q: When is an option a recommendation?
A: When its the only thing that fits within budget guidance.
The 475nm Ribbon Panel has been given very limited authority to violate its charter (by asking for a little more budget) and will eventually bring forward options for our space faring future. Only one of them is financially feasible, but perhaps politically intractable, and it will be an uphill battle swaying the Purveyors. Then again, these are the same folks that remade GM, the banking industry, and are now working on health care. Why wouldn't they take on E Street too (the irony here, of course, is the handing over of E Street to the private marketeers, instead of embarking on a more socialistic course of action)?
Any of the other options suffer from temporal and logical breaks. What's the point of keeping a space station with nothing to do but float on it? Why bother building a large rocket when you can't afford to put anything on top of it? And who, living today, really cares about a trip to the moon TWENTY years from now?
So how best to find bucks for Buck Rogers? Sally gave us a hint. Real Estate. E Street's toxic assets. Get rid of them. Only rent a hotel room when you are in town. No need to own it for one night's stay. And put your maintenance cost savings on layaway for some new toys.
And least you thought we'd pick up Norm's betting guide and make heads or tails about where to place our bets, you'd be getting way in front of the horses. No, Norm will just hint at what we should be doing with humans in space, but he will not be prescribing an architecture for doing that. Cue tears.
Cue ESAS II.