Bolden in Saudi Arabia: Misspoken or Misquoted?

NASA: Collaboration with Saudis a 'cornerstone' of U.S. policy, World Tribune

"Officials said Riyad and Washington have been discussing ways to expand space cooperation, including joint satellite production. They said other options for cooperation could include joint missions, technology development as well as a training exchanges between the U.S. National Aeronautics Space Agency and the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology. "It is a cornerstone of NASA policy," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said."

Keith's note: A number of you have sent me notes about this specific story. I have sent an inquiry to NASA PAO to see if this is what Bolden actually said - as he is quoted as having said it in this article i.e. "It is a cornerstone of NASA policy". No one else is reporting this quote with attribution specifically to Bolden. I have seen references of technology exchange - with many countries - in other publications as being an interest of the Obama Administration - but no specific singling out of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, no author/reporter is listed for this article, and no one representing this publication was in attendance at events in Saudi Arabia. More to follow.

Keith's update: According to NASA PAO, Charlie Bolden showed a slide that he and others at NASA have shown countless times over the years dealing with the agency's charter.

"International cooperation at NASA:

- Is directed by the National Aeronautics and Space Act that created NASA in 1958, continues to be part of national space policy
- Has been a cornerstone of NASA's activities throughout its history
- Includes over 4,000 agreements with over 100 nations
- Brings multiple benefits to NASA and its partners"

In other words NASA's cooperation with all foreign countries (not any specific one) is a "cornerstone" of its overall policy. This article takes this chart utterly out of context and frames the story with the title "NASA: Collaboration with Saudis a 'cornerstone' of U.S. policy" as if Bolden was speaking only about Saudi Arabia. He was not.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 5, 2010 1:00 PM.

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