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  Former astronaut Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator

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Author Topic:   Former astronaut Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-23-2009 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Source: The White House

President Barack Obama meets with General Charles Bolden, right, and White House aides earlier this week in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Today (May 23, 2009), President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for key administration posts: General Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA and Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator of NASA.

President Obama said, "These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of America's space program."

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:

Gen. Charles Bolden, Nominee for Administrator of NASA
Charles Bolden retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2003 as the Commanding General of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing after serving more than 34 years, and is currently CEO of JackandPanther LLC, a privately-held military and aerospace consulting firm. Gen. Bolden began his service in U.S. Marine Corps in 1968. He flew more than 100 sorties in Vietnam from 1972-73. In 1980, he was selected as an astronaut by NASA, flying two space shuttle missions as pilot and two missions as commander. Following the Challenger accident in 1986, Gen. Bolden was named the Chief of the Safety Division at the Johnson Space Center with responsibilities for overseeing the safety efforts in the return-to-flight efforts. He was appointed Assistant Deputy Administrator of NASA headquarters in 1992. He was Senior Vice President at TechTrans International, Inc. from 2003 until 2005. Gen. Bolden holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis and a M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

Lori Garver, Nominee for Deputy Administrator of NASA
Lori Garver is the President of Capital Space, LLC, and has served as Senior Advisor for Space at the Avascent Group, a strategy and management consulting firm, based in Washington, D.C. She was the lead civil space policy advisor for Obama for America, and she helped lead the Agency Review Team for NASA during the Transition. She has intimate familiarity with the agency and knows well the challenges it faces. From 1998 to 2001, Ms. Garver served as NASA's Associate Administrator of the Office of Policy and Plans. Reporting to the NASA Administrator, she oversaw the analysis, development, and integration of NASA policies and long-range plans, the NASA Strategic Management System, and the NASA Advisory Council. Ms. Garver also served as a primary spokesperson for NASA. Prior to this appointment, she served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of Policy and Plans, and Special Assistant to the Administrator. Ms. Garver earned an M.S. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the George Washington University and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Colorado College.

Tom
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posted 05-23-2009 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to both!!

DChudwin
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posted 05-23-2009 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When confirmed by the Senate, Bolden and Garver will give NASA the permanent leadership it needs to make some tough decisions over the next few years. I just hope they make the right choices.

NASA is at a true crossroads now, especially with respect to the future of manned spaceflight at a time of massive federal deficits. What can NASA do best with a limited budget?

During the height of Apollo, NASA received 5% of the federal budget. It's current $18 billion budget is less than 0.5% of the total budget. NASA cannot do all the things on its plate with a tenth of the relative budget it had 45 years ago.

Bolden and Garver need to set some priorities for the agency. Personally, I think a heavy lift rocket should be near the top of the list. NASA should leave LEO operations to private companies and use a heavy lift vehicle to get Orion to near earth asteroids, the moon and to the Martian moons. Without a heavy lift rocket, our astronauts will continue to be mired on LEO and exploration beyond the earth will not continue.

ea757grrl
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posted 05-23-2009 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is incredible news. I know I'm very much biased, but I'm so happy to read that Gen. Bolden's been nominated. A very tough job, with a lot of limitations, is ahead for him and Ms. Garver if they're confirmed, but I know they are up to the challenge.

Congratulations and the very best of luck to them.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-23-2009 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Response to the nomination of Charles Bolden by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), who flew with Bolden as a Congressional observer on STS-61C.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-23-2009 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Senator Hutchison's Statement on President's Intent to Nominate Charles Bolden to Head NASA

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today released the following statement on the President's intent to nominate Charles Bolden to be the next NASA Administrator.

"I am delighted that the President intends to nominate retired Marine General and astronaut Charles Bolden to be the next NASA Administrator. He brings the enthusiasm for science and exploration that NASA needs at this crucial time in its history.

"I talked to General Bolden today following the announcement of his intended nomination. We discussed the importance of finishing the space station so the scientific research can be fully supported. He and I agree that space exploration is essential for America's future security and we look forward to working together to continue America's preeminence in space.

"I believe the Commerce Committee will move expeditiously to consider this nomination, and that of the nominee for Deputy NASA Administrator, Lori Garver upon receiving their paperwork. I look forward to working with them as we move ahead to preserve America's leadership in space."

And related, from Bloomberg:
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller praised the choice and said he'll move the nomination through the confirmation process "in short order."

"General Bolden's 34 years of service to this country as a United States Marine is incredibly admirable and will bring just the kind of leadership and management NASA needs as America launches a new era of innovation, creativity and prosperity," the West Virginia Democrat said in a statement.

Sy Liebergot
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posted 05-24-2009 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm puzzled at the choice of Lori Garver for NASA Deputy Adminstrator. I'm unsure if she has the technical and managerial qualifications to administer an organization such as NASA.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2009 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Granted I am biased, given that Lori hired me out of college when she was Executive Director of the National Space Society, but I can say from experience that she is a very effective manager.

She also is "one of us", someone with a lifelong passion for space exploration, who has the experience translating that enthusiasm into messages that Congress can understand.

Within the space industry and community, she is well known and well respected, so I believe she will be a good fit for the job and an excellent leader for NASA.

DChudwin
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posted 05-24-2009 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sy, I have to agree with Robert regarding your skepticism of Lori Garver. She is a excellent fit for the Deputy Administrator post.

I don't know her personally, but she did a great job as NSS executive director. She has always been passionate about space exploration.

As a "Beltway Insider," she knows the ins and outs of politics, Congress and the White House. She has ties to the Obama campaign which may prove useful.

Her experience complements that of Gen. Bolden, who, despite a brief stint at NASA Headquarters, is a Washington novice. Gen. Bolden provides great leadership, technical expertise, and NASA experience. Ms. Garver provides political connections and skills to help accomplish NASA's goals.

Personally, I think it is a great combination. But in the end, what President Obama wants to do with NASA, with respect to goals and budget, will be more important than who are Administrator and Deputy Administrator.

Delta7
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posted 05-24-2009 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems like she's a good complement to Bolden; the "perfect team".

KSCartist
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posted 05-25-2009 05:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, if she hired you once - do you think she would do it again?

Robert Pearlman, Director of Public Affairs. I kind of like the sound of that.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-25-2009 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Tim, although the current person in that position is doing a great job (and I'm not just saying that because he might be reading this...)

kr4mula
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posted 05-26-2009 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's amazing, but perhaps not surprising, to see that there's been about 100% support for Bolden's nomination. In the interest of fairness (or just playing devil's advocate) - has anyone seen any valid criticism or concern over it? I know some people question the effectiveness of astronauts in high management positions, or perhaps the proliferation of them. Obviously we only have Dick Truly as a prior example in the Administrator's office. Thoughts?

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-26-2009 09:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sy, I agree with Robert also. Lori isn't a belt-stander. I met her in the 80's at an NSS (NSI) conference in Anaheim.

When I was the chairperson for the Space Frontier Foundation Lunar Conferences in 2000-01 she came out and spoke of her passion for this.

An excellent choice!

Of Gen. Bolden, he isn't just there for the job, he will take us 'to Bolden go where no one has gone before'.

Someone had to say it!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-28-2009 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
In the interest of fairness (or just playing devil's advocate) - has anyone seen any valid criticism or concern over it?
The New York Times offered their concern:
Unfortunately, General Bolden lacks deep expertise in space science and engineering and his past ties with the aerospace industry will raise conflict of interest problems. Before the Senate confirms him, it should probe how well fitted he is to guide the agency through a difficult transition from the space shuttle to follow-on vehicles designed to reach the Moon and beyond.

Sy Liebergot
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posted 05-28-2009 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NY Times editorial also stated:
The president's choice for deputy administrator, Lori B. Garver, is a policy specialist who has served at NASA, in private space organizations, and as a consultant. She advised John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2008 before switching to the winning Obama team and helping to lead its transition review for the space program. She has no technical background or major managerial experience but knows the agency and its issues.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-30-2009 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florida Today: Bolden's confirmation hearing expected next week
Charles Bolden, President Barack Obama's pick to become the next NASA administrator, is expected to go before the Senate next week for a confirmation hearing.

The former astronaut and retired Marine Corps general will go before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 8, according to the office of Sen. Bill Nelson. The Florida Democrat sits on the panel and heads its Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences subcommittee.

The committee, which has yet to officially post the hearing, also was expected to consider the nomination of Lori Garver as NASA's deputy administrator.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-15-2009 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Senator Bill Nelson just shared the news on Twitter that Charles Bolden has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next NASA Administrator:
Charlie Bolden just confirmed by Senate as nation's new space czar. He's perfect to keep America leading in space, science and technology.

I've known Charlie Bolden the better part of a quarter century, since he was my pilot on the space shuttle in 1986.

Naval academy grad, Marine test pilot, astronaut, general -- Charlie will bring back the magic from a time when we rode rockets to the moon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-16-2009 06:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Bolden and Garver Confirmed by U.S. Senate

Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as the twelfth administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Lori Beth Garver was confirmed as NASA's deputy administrator.

As administrator, Bolden will lead the NASA team and manage its resources to advance the agency's missions and goals.

"It is an honor to have been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to lead this great NASA team," Bolden said. "Today, we have to choose. Either we can invest in building on our hard-earned world technological leadership or we can abandon this commitment, ceding it to other nations who are working diligently to push the frontiers of space."

"If we choose to lead, we must build on our investment in the International Space Station, accelerate development of our next generation launch systems to enable expansion of human exploration, enhance NASA's capability to study Earth's environment, lead space science to new achievements, continue cutting-edge aeronautics research, support the innovation of American entrepreneurs, and inspire a rising generation of boys and girls to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and math."

Bolden's confirmation marks the beginning of his second stint with NASA. His 34-year career with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. After joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions. His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a cosmonaut as a member of his crew.

During his astronaut career, Bolden also drew technical assignments as the Astronaut Office safety officer; technical assistant to the director of Flight Crew Operations; special assistant to the director of the Johnson Space Center; chief of the Safety Division at Johnson (overseeing safety efforts for the return to flight after the 1986 Challenger accident); lead astronaut for vehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space Center; and assistant deputy administrator at NASA Headquarters. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.

Immediately prior to Bolden's nomination for the NASA administrator's job, he was employed as the chief executive officer of JACKandPANTHER LLC, a small business enterprise providing leadership, military and aerospace consulting, and motivational speaking. A resident of Houston, the 62-year-old South Carolina native earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. He completed flight training in 1970 and became a naval aviator, serving as a combat pilot in Southeast Asia and later, as a test pilot. Bolden retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 with the rank of major general.

Like Bolden, Garver's confirmation as deputy administrator marks the second time she has worked for NASA. Her first stint at the agency was from 1996 to 2001. Initially, she served as a special assistant to the NASA administrator and senior policy analyst for the Office of Policy and Plans, before becoming the associate administrator for the Office of Policy and Plans. Reporting to the NASA administrator, she oversaw the analysis, development and integration of policies and long-range plans, the NASA Strategic Management System, and the NASA Advisory Council.

As deputy administrator, Garver will be NASA's second in command. She is responsible to the administrator for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for the agency. Garver will represent NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities. She also will oversee the work of NASA's functional offices, including the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of General Counsel and Office of Strategic Communications.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to serve under Charlie Bolden's leadership," Garver said. "My previous five years at NASA exposed me to the incredible talent of the workforce there. The unbelievable achievements of this team over its 50-year history are unmatched. I look forward to working with Charlie and the NASA team to make our agency work as effectively as it can for the American people."

A 48-year-old Michigan native, Garver earned a bachelor's degree in political science and economics from Colorado College in 1983. Her focus immediately turned to space when she accepted a job working for Sen. John Glenn from 1983 to 1984. She since has served in a variety of senior roles in the nonprofit, government and commercial sectors.

From January 2001 until her nomination as NASA's deputy administrator, Garver was a full-time consultant as the president of Capital Space, LLC, and senior advisor for space at the Avascent Group. In these roles, she provided strategic planning, technology feasibility research and business development assistance, as well as merger, acquisition and strategic alliance support, to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 07-16-2009 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is wonderful that the likes of Gen. Bolden and Lori Garver are now NASA's directors! Congratulations to them - their vision will serve them well!

astro-nut
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posted 07-20-2009 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to both Charlie and Lori on their appointments. I am sure both of them will be a great asset for our space agency.

328KF
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posted 11-29-2012 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After some public separation from the President's priorities for the U.S. space program, there is some speculation (source: Orlando Sentinel) that Charlie Bolden's tenure as NASA Administrator might be up for reevaluation.
His future — like that of other agency heads — depends on whether President Barack Obama wants him back for a second term. But the question is especially pertinent in Bolden's case, as his time at NASA has been marked by several missteps, including an offhand criticism of Obama just before Election Day.

Sources inside Congress and the administration said it's wholly possible Bolden, 66, stays at NASA into 2013 and beyond. They caution, however, that his return is an open question, as the White House remains concerned whether the former astronaut and Marine Corps major general is committed to Obama's vision for the space agency.

fredtrav
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posted 11-30-2012 01:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...committed to Obama's vision for the space agency.
What vision?

Tykeanaut
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posted 11-30-2012 03:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not committed is obviously a politically correct "does not agree"? So what, that should be no reason for Bolden not to continue in his role? Surely a difference of opinion between the President and Charlie Bolden might benefit any future funding and debate?

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-30-2012 05:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The biggest thing about whomever becomes a NASA administrator if Bolden leaves is the job is just so... for lack of a better term... "spineless" these days.

Last time there was ever any major pushback by a NASA administrator against a presidental administration, it was Richard Truly and he promptly got replaced by Dan Goldin. Now Goldin I admit was perfect as NASA's head at the time since he did have a pretty clear vision and he did serve under both Bush and Clinton. Granted "Faster, Better, Cheaper" didn't work for everything, but when Goldin spoke, people tended to listen and he also helped to determine the pecking order with the Russians in the Mir and ISS partnership (giving the Russian Space Agency legitimacy when Energia was trying to muscle in as the exclusive partner on Russian manned space efforts).

Of the administrators after Goldin, Griffin was pretty good. But I don't think he was there long enough to really put a good stamp to what he was doing as the presidential administration changed not very long after he took office. O'Keefe was primarily a budget bean counter.

As for Bolden... well I like Bolden as a person and I have friends who have known Bolden for many years. But Bolden to me doesn't seem to have been a good leader for NASA at a time when although the administrator should do what the president wants, they also need to put their foot down to try and persuade (rather than criticize) the lawmakers that an approach contrary to their own might not be such a good idea. Goldin was able to do that with the space station program when Clinton had it on the chopping block. The result was the ISS.

Unfortunately as I see it, a really good strong hand for NASA if Bolden is out I don't see coming anytime soon. Potentially the best leaders out there tend to stay in the private sector since they can make more money there. Partisan politics mean that some potential candidates are shot down because they don't have the same party affiliation as those in power (Goldin was a rare exception as he was a Democrat appointed by a Republican president). Others that could do the job might not want it since they know it is a losing proposition if they get in a big disagreement with their boss, the guy occupying the office at 1600 Penn avenue. So that likely leaves a potential "yes man" getting the nod who probably won't do much of anything because he likes the office, the title and the potentially steady paycheck. So he won't "rock the boat" too much.

So I think it will be quite awhile before we see the likes of a Jim Webb, Thomas Paine or even a Dan Goldin ever again in charge at NASA. The one candidate I can think of off the top of my head who might be a good leader for NASA would be Kevin Chilton, given his command general experience at US Space Command and USSTRATCOM (and the only ex-astronaut to date to achieve a four star rank in the military). But I don't necessarily think Obama would go for that option because of other factors.

328KF
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posted 11-30-2012 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The article does mention that Bolden has allies in Congress, most notably his former crewmate Sen Bill Nelson (D-FL). Many agree that the situation we currently find ourselves in is untenable, both from a fiscal perspective as well as clearly defined goals for manned spaceflight.

I think Bolden is one of the biggest cheerleaders for expanding manned exploration of the solar system, but the debate is taking place in the middle of a potential financial disaster that puts discretionary spending on programs like this in the "down the road, maybe" category.

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will have a new chairman come January, Rep Lamar Smith, (R-TX), who has been an outspoken critic of Obama's space policy. So it looks like Bolden may have another powerful ally in his corner who could help steer the discussion toward keeping him in his position.

The nation doesn't need "yes men" in critical positions like this. I applaud Bolden for standing up and fighting for what he believes is the right course, even if his political saviness could use a little polishing. It takes alot to publicly disclose some of his opinions based on what goes on behind closed doors, but his comments give us some insight as to where our President actually stands on space.

I hope we can get this fiscal debate behind us, keep the General in charge, hear some clear commitment to the Gateway Outpost proposal, and get the U.S. flying its own astronauts to space again sooner rather than later.

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-30-2012 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know of Bolden and Nelson's relationship and I do agree Bolden has indeed done some good things for NASA, in spite of what the Obama administration wants. It does seem that the current president wants to kick the big stuff down the road while the NASA administrator seems to know that some investment has to be done in large program development (such as Orion and SLS) in these lean years since shutting them down and starting them up later could be disasterous. The job will always be a tight rope. Does one follow the President, or does one follow Congress?

As I see it, one element in Bolden's favor is the current government gridlock. Obama might be more in favor of keeping Bolden, warts and all, as opposed to potentially spending a lengthy fight with the Senate to get another candidate approved, at least during the first year of Obama's second term in office.

onesmallstep
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posted 11-30-2012 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that Bolden should at least be kept on for a year, if possible. His input as a former astronaut would be invalauble as NASA ramps up testing of Orion, SLS and private ventures to develop a crew ferry to the ISS. There is also another, albeit informal advisor on space matters to Obama: ex-shuttle commander Mark Kelly, who was rumored to take over his wife's seat in Congress.

I think the President knows that the next few years will be crucial to the US space program, and wants to leave office knowing he did the best in these lean economic times, and picking the next NASA Administrator carefully is at the top of the agenda.

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