This may or may not be true. The question of which space-based tasks in NASA’s near-term future are most relevant and important to the public hasn’t been explored much by the media following Obama’s big speech. Perhaps more attention should be paid to the less sexy, but for the foreseeable future, more tangible, aspects of NASA’s work. With human spaceflight confined to relatively routine trips to the space station on Russian rockets for the next several years, and no major destination mission before 2025, journalists are going to have to start doing the hard work of explaining NASA’s more terrestrially-focused science.
Emily Badger, writing in Miller-McCune, noted that Obama’s speech was neither as specific nor inspiring as Kennedy’s in 1962, when he famously declared, “We choose to go to the moon this decade …” Obama’s task, as Badger said, was to recast “what looks to many like the end of American manned space flight — at least for the indefinite future — as a beginning to something bigger.” Obama did that. He plotted a long-term strategy that will tickle the imagination of our deep-space frontier fantasies, but fantasies they will remain for a long time to come. Hopefully, the press will find a way to engage to the public with NASA in the meantime.