Due to the insanity that is the United States Federal Government, The Constellation program has been cut but NASA is still forced by congress to spend $500 million on the dead Ares 1 rocket through March.
Constellation is the umbrella program that includes the Ares I, the rocket NASA has been building to replace the space shuttle as means of transport to and from the International Space Station, as well as other spacecraft that would have been capable of performing a variety of missions. President Obama cancelled Constellation last year, but thanks to congressional delays and inaction, the program simply won't die -- and it's costing big bucks.
This is mostly related to the fact that congress can't get a budget passed. Hopefully the next congress can get something together. In a world of deficit hawks and tea parties, however, this seems insane. This is why the government shouldn't be doing so much, they suck at most things.