President Barack Obama meets with General Charles Bolden, right, and White House aides earlier this week in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
It seems almost anti-climatic now after we announced on May 14 that Bolden would be the next administrator.
President Obama wanted to make the announcement after the shuttle had landed but I suppose with all the "hoopla" surrounding the fact that everyone already unofficially knew, the White House decided to just release the information.
Editor's Update: Ok, it's now finally official, but what does this mean? NASA's has some tough budget years ahead of them with Constellation over budget and negative or zero growth budgets coming. President Obama is a science guy and perhaps not so much a human space flight exploration advocate. The reality is that no matter how many speeches he gives where he touts the inspiration of NASA, it takes hard cold cash to make things happen, especially human space flight.
NASA's fiscal year 2010 budget request of $18.686 billion includes $456M increase for science and $630M increase for Exploration. Some of that increase is because of the one time Recovery Act stimulus money. If you look at projected budgets for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2013 you see either negative or zero growth. Already sources say Bolden expressed concern at his meeting with President Obama because he was told that further cuts to human spaceflight in future budgets might be needed.
I have no doubt Bolden is a leader, the question is, with the projected budgets he'll have, can he get Constellation back on track and on schedule? And what effect will the Human Space Flight Review Panel have going forward?
It's great to see a nominee like Bolden put forward but really how much can he accomplish? Will Bolden be bold in his leadership?
White House Statement:
"Today, 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."
Editor's Update: Senator Bill Nelson provides his comments on Bolden's nomination (MP3). As well on the next page is a video response by Nelson.
Chairman Gordon, Chairwoman Giffords Comment on Presidents Choice to Head NASA
"Today, President Obama announced his intention to nominate retired Marine Corps Major General Charles Bolden to be the next NASA Administrator. General Bolden is a former astronaut, who flew on the shuttle four times.
Naming an administrator is a big step forward, said House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). This is a critical time for NASA. The agency needs a strong leader at the helm to ensure it is able to meet the many challenges the nation has asked of it, while being good stewards of the taxpayer money. I am impressed by General Boldens resume, and I look forward to learning more about him during the confirmation process, and working with him in his new role.
General Bolden is an inspirational figure, said Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). As a veteran of four shuttle missions, General Bolden possesses valuable first-hand knowledge of our countrys effort to explore and understand the universe. As a decorated Marine, he exemplifies an ethic of service to his country. His appointment comes at a critical time. The Committee is beginning work on a multi-year authorization for NASA. We look forward to working with the Administrator, once hes in place, to ensure that vital programs at NASA flourish.
Statement by Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas on Bolden Nomination
The nomination of General Bolden to lead NASA is a positive sign for the future of our human spaceflight program. General Boldens background has given him the relevant management and technical experience to address the great challenges facing NASA today.
Thousands of jobs at Kennedy Space Center and across Central Florida are at risk due to the impending spaceflight gap. Without direct access to the International Space Station, we will be forced to rely on the Russian Soyuz, sending billions of taxpayer dollars overseas and risking our national security interests.
These challenges will have a lasting impact on our economy and our standing as the world leader in space, science, and technology. I look forward to working with our new NASA administrator to ensure a robust human spaceflight program and to minimize the gap in order to protect jobs and support Americas strategic interests. General Bolden is eminently qualified to accomplish this important mission.
Biography of Major General 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.