President George W. Bush initiated the retirement of the Space Shuttle program. Under Bush, the shuttle was viewed as unsafe and hugely expensive, and NASA could not afford to pursue other human space exploration programs while also operating the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle’s retirement was intended to pave the way for the development of a new NASA launch system that would be capable of supporting human missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
The replacement rocket’s availability was not timed to coincide with the Shuttle’s retirement. President Bush’s plan instead was to include a multi-year gap in U.S. human spaceflight capabilities.
Now ,America like Nigeria, will depend on Russia, to launch payloads into space, visit and return from the International Space Station.
During this year’s final Shuttle launch an emotional Bolden optimistically said,.
“Some say that our final shuttle mission marked the end of America’s 50-year dominance in human space flight.As a former astronaut and the current NASA administrator, I am here to tell you that American leadership in space will continue for at least — at least — the next half century because we’ve laid the foundation for success.”
Bolden was emphatic.
“For us at NASA, failure is not an option,” he said.