I have always loved the NASA space program, even if it was a watered down version of what took place in the Apollo era.
The Space Shuttles were awesome in their day. In the 90's a whirlwind of ideas floated about what would replace the shuttle program. Excitement was abuzz about the X-33 project, Skylon, Venturestar, and other similar projects. And then, they were all cancelled shortly after 2000.
The space shuttle replacement was changed to the Constellation project. Basically we went from space shuttles and decided to take a step all the way back to big rockets with people-pods screwed to the top of them. Personally, I thought it was a pathetic embarrassment of a program, which decided to settle on mediocrity.
And then, we even cancelled that.