Good news/bad news: The Columbia disaster has brought renewed attention to spaceflight, but so far, much of that attention lacks any real clarity of understanding. Rather than train the spotlight on our space program's fairly desperate need for both funding and vision, Columbia seems to have ushered in open season on NASA. Congressional hearings rehash hoary old debates about the value of our space program, chastizing the agency and calling for hastily conceived reforms. Many people with whom I've been privileged to work closely inside and around NASA share my concern that we may be on the verge of making irreversible decisions that future generations will regret. The Bush administration's announcement of a redirection of the space program, which was pending at press time, may address some issues raised by the Columbia investigation, but it's sure to miss some more fundamental problems, problems that are deep, structural and, if you believe in the value of space exploration, critical to our place in the 21st century.