In the 1983 movie, “The Right Stuff,” astronaut Gordo Cooper points toward a space capsule and asks a NASA scientist, “Do you know what makes this bird go up?” Cooper answers his own question: “Funding makes this bird go up!” At which point, astronaut Gus Grissom chimes in: “No bucks? No ‘Buck Rogers!'” That alleged conversation took place more than four decades ago, during the height of the space race with the Soviet Union. Today, the same refrain applies. Without funding from Congress, no U.S. spaceship will blast off for anywhere.