Good interview Miles, and an excellent point about the Space Station being good science and bad PR. In a real sense I’ve always felt that JFK’s push to the moon (more about global politics than good science) really dealt a serious PR blow to NASA’s effort on near earth orbit missions, after the moon it’s hard to avoid a sense of “been there, done that” in regard to these missions.
Also NASA has done a piss poor job in explaining the complexities of space exploration. In an age when there is a new iPod released yearly NASA needs to do a better job at explaining why the turn around time for space projects are so seemingly long.
If you think about it, Hollywood is one of NASA’s biggest problems. All the amazing effects in science fiction movies over the years (warp drives and the like) have raised the expectation bar way too high.
In short, reality just doesn’t measure up to the the silver screen magic – and thus people are disappointed with NASA’s accomplishments in space.