This week, NASA released an artist's rendering of what it hopes will be America's replacement for the Space Shuttle program.
The SLS or Space Launch System (NASA's most banal acronym to date) is a derivative of 20 year old Shuttle engines and solid rocket boosters... and a 40 year old Saturn second stage rocket.
The good news is, it will be ready in just under a decade. (Note, it took your Dad's generation a decade to go from never being in space before to strolling around on the moon).
With the SLS, we are going backwards in time with both technology and ambition. I like recycling (not really but I pretend to) but mashing together old, outdated parts to make something this pathetic is not something I support (or at least pretend to). NASA Administrator and galactic idiot, Charles Bolden, said of the new rocket design, "President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that's exactly what we are doing at NASA." http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls1.html
This is not dreaming big, Mr. Bolden, and please don't try and sugarcoat it. If you're going to go retro with your rockets, go all the way.