It opens up nothing. It closes doors. Obama used "commercial" to gut exploration and U.S. power (as in Elon Musk's SpaceX -- Musk also has an elec car company and a solar panel company -- all get government funding -- and Musk repays with Obama campaign money and an inaugural ball). Plain and simple.
If you don't understand that, you can't see the forest for the trees.
We shall see but it’s a safe bet that the NASA replacement was never going to fly. As for the shuttle, it existed to serve the ISS and the ISS served to justify the shuttle. The perfect circle jerk and together they have stalled our space program for 30 years.
Right on. The private sector being nurtured is just crony capitalism subsisting on government contracts. The decision to end the shuttle before a replacement system was developed is the type of fork in the road decision that crushes the human spirit and perfectly symbolizes the decline of the US lead by Obama. Learn Chinese or Russian if you want to be part of a new human spaceflight program.