When I first moved out to the Space Coast I got to see the very last shuttle launch. I stood in my front yard and watched it go off. That is the beauty of the Space Coast, you can stand anywhere and watch a launch go up. You can be coming out of the supermarket and hear the thunder of the rockets and feel the power and energy in the air.
Unfortunately, what followed that last launch of the shuttle was something of a Great Depression for the area. Once Obama, stupidly, closed the shuttle program without having some kind of back up to get our guys in space, the whole Space Coast collapsed. The real estate market crashed around here, both residential and in-particular the commercial real estate market fell out. It was like a ghost town, everything was closed up and many people left completely.
Then, something happened that revitalized the Space Coast and brought it back to its glory days, the commercial industry came to town. Space X and other companies took over and pushed the envelope so hard and so strong that then thoughts of NASA started to fade. These companies did stuff NASA never dreamed of and for a lot less money. I am sure even NASA was impressed when they started to bring back the rockets and reuse them.
Nowadays I look at NASA has more of an airport than anything. There function is different now. It is the private industry that is going to take us to Mars and beyond. NASA should concentrate on telescopes and studying the universe. It should cover more of the stars with a bunch of new telescopes, not just one. NASA should stand as an airport to private companies and the studying of the universe and beyond. I like the idea of the multiverse and string theory, they should go look into that.