It appears that NASAs plans for future flights into orbit have been jeopardised by Russian talks with Cuba. Russia has been negotiating with Cuba regarding a joint venture in a Cuban space centre.
This will be interesting as the US Space Shuttles are due to retire in two years and there is no replacement in the pipeline. The US had been planning on buying flights from Russia. Something it will more than likely balk at doing if Russia is in cahoots with Castroist Cuba.
It does look like America is going to lag well behind in the new space race if they don’t develop their own launch program. Everyone else is in on the game it seems except the US.
Hell even the ESA, the turtle of the space race, is planning manned missions to Mars. Which is probably a bit of a waste of time. It would make far more sense to begin to exploit the asteroid belt first. But the ESA aint the turtle for nothing