Exploration is fine. But it shouldn't cost lives. It is commendable that we give our lives from exploration than for war but we shouldn't expect that lives should be lost as part of the legal tolerance of NASA.
The Space Shuttle is pretty fool proof system, unless fooled with. Both shuttle losses were due to ignorance and neglect not unforseeable occurences. What are we the USSR, Stop taking this cheap route and do the job right. Really, I don't want to see any more astronaut's name on any more Elementary Schools.
Let's fix Health Care, let's fix the economy, terrorism, a declined education system, corprate and political corruption, So many more things to do than to go into outer space. They won't just go away after we discover warp drive like Star Trek proposes. Yes, I think it's the right call to get rid or downscale NASA until they can figure out a more purposeful direction than to blow money children could be using for medical care, out the air-lock.
It's not that I think the US will ever fix these probelms or that I hope they ever will...It's that we all believe Space Exploration is important enough to ignore more pressing problems. If you put it into perspective NASA is costing lives not just money, how many early warning medical scans could have caught cancer apart of health care plan for everyone, how many young atheletes will die on the field for a heart defect.
This isn't a private organization it government. They're spending massive amounts of money on a organization who's regular goal is....."to circle the earth." Do you know how much they get paid for that?