From an upcoming article in The Atlantic Monthly:
"American politicians now mostly avoid the old conditional trope “If we can put a man on the moon”—because we can’t, not anymore.
The Vision for Space Exploration really doesn’t have any; nor does NASA. In 2002, the agency shut down its Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program, whose scientists had been allowed to brainstorm such far-out notions as wormholes and warp drives; five years later, the agency closed its Institute for Advanced Concepts, a less mind-blowing outfit but one that also encouraged thinking light-years down the road."
Thanks to Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) for passing this along.