Update on Bolden's Return To The Middle East (With Full Itinerary)

About Bolden's Saudi Trip, National Review Online

"While in Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, October 2, 2010, Administrator Bolden will represent NASA at an aerospace technology conference and a commemorative event in honor of the 25th Anniversary of space shuttle flight STS-51G in Riyadh. The 1985 STS-51G mission aboard shuttle Discovery included among its crew astronaut Sultan Salman Al-Saud. Administrator Bolden and some of the active and retired astronauts who comprised the international STS-51G crew (including a French space agency astronaut) will also participate.

This trip including the visit to Saudi Arabia is driven by specific, appropriate agency-level objectives. It was not initiated by the White House, State Department or any other entity and has no objective other than those identified above. However, all such activities are coordinated through established State Department channels."

Bolden and Middle East Outreach: Take II, earlier post

Keith's update: At the formal request of NASA Headquarters I have removed the official itinerary for Bolden's trip to Saudi Arabia and Nepal. Suggestion for Mike O'Brien and NASA international affairs: if you are going to be as careless and lazy with regard to such things (as you collectively seem to be) you should not be at all surprised to see things like this floating all around the world. Suggest that you get some people in your organization who actually know what they are doing.

I am still wondering why Mike O'Brien's wife gets to go on this junket at taxpayer's expense. Moreover, despite all of the events that the Administrator of NASA will be attending in an utterly official and formal capacity, there will be little (if any) media availability nor any public record made of his activities, statements, etc. More stealth Charlie.

There are a total of 11 quests going on this trip. Given how they are all bouncing from Europe to Saudia Arabia to Nepal and then back to the U.S., each traveller's airline ticket is going to be $2,000 - $3,000. Add in hotels, ground transportation, per diem, etc. and the cost is easily $5,000 - $6,000 per person or upwards of $50-60,000 for the entire group. And yet no one is ever going to learn about what was said during this trip. To be certain, there are things of great value being done on this trip. However, by not allowing visibility into the trip, NASA passes on an opportunity to explain itself to the taxpayers whose money is being spent.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 27, 2010 11:18 AM.

Bolden Is Heading for China Next was the previous entry in this blog.

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