Space shuttle duties – rotating crew at the ISS, putting satellites into orbit, etc. – will likely fall to other nations or to private enterprise. But while it's fair to say that perhaps we don't need to go back to the moon, the greater fear is that America will lose its place at the head of the table. Just yesterday Reuters noted that Russia, the first nation to launch a satellite into orbit and a man into space, has lost its standing as a scientific powerhouse for lack of research and development. Nations like China and South Korea are racing to close the aeronautical gap, and India has green-lit its first manned mission to space in 2016, a year when it appears the U.S. Space Agency will be measuring glacial ice and ocean currents.