How are we going to feel, being the space exploration spectators?

I have written before about how we're not going to the moon in 2020.  We're definitely not going to Mars in the next 30 years with a cut to the exploration budget. We're asking some European countries to partner with us to go to Mars robotically.  This is a good thing.  We should have done some of this all along.

Since the introduction of the Space Shuttle program, we've been doing space exploration backwards.  We often build technologies and vehicles, and then find something to for them to do.

A sensible person would never do this with their own money, so why are we letting the Space Agency do it?

China is mounting aggressive space exploration plans.  China is flying people to space.  They have plans to go to the moon. They are building a heavy lift vehicle like the Saturn V we once had.  They have plans to explore the solar system and are launching commercial satellites.

The United States is cutting programs, cutting budgets, and faltering on the replacement programs before they really even get started.  We're years from deciding what we are going to do, let along actually doing something.

How do you think US citizens are going to feel sitting on the technological sidelines while everyone else explores?  We flock to Apple events and let out audible cheers when the precious iPhone get's a 3 megapixel camera.  Now we can take videos of people getting hit in the crotch in high def! Sweet.

But are pretty phones our legacy, our contribution to history?

As interesting as these new "advances in technology" may be, that's not quite how I'd like us to be remembered.