Congress: July 2009 Archives

Statement of Charles Bolden Before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

"Today we have to choose. Either we can invest in building upon our hard earned world technological leadership or we can abandon this commitment, ceding it to others who are working vigilantly to push the frontiers of space."

Bolden recalls golden days of NASA, Houston Chronicle

"In his words to the panel, Bolden recalled the purposeful days of the early manned space program when "a young president and a bold Congress inspired the American people to have the courage to take action in areas previously unthinkable." Bolden added: "Can we do any less today? I think not."

Charlie Bolden's vision for NASA, Nature

"Several themes emerged in the responses from Bolden and Lori Garver, appointed to be Bolden's deputy after handling Obama's campaign space policies. First, they would emphasize the Earth-exploring aspects of NASA -- a shift towards Earth science that's already being seen in NASA budgets. "We have to look at Earth, our planet, and NASA has to lead in providing remote sensors, space-borne sensors, to understand not just what's out there, but what's in here," said Bolden."

Former astronaut vows to restore NASA's glory, McClathcy

"Bolden, 62, politely but pointedly rebuffed former President George W. Bush's ambitious plan to land an American on Mars by 2020. "It's a long way to Mars," Bolden said. "I want to go to Mars. I think everybody wants to go to Mars. (But) Mars is a 20-year venture. . . . I cannot go out and tell a kid, 'I want you to come to work for NASA because we're going to Mars.'"

Keith's note: Sen. Shelby and his staff have certainly been busy. They don't like the way that the Obama Administration and NASA have been looking at using stimulus money for commercialization. So, how did he act on this? He threatened to put amendments into legislation that would punish various field centers at NASA (other than MSFC of course) that have been involved in commercialization by stripping them of facilities or programs so as to send a message. Shelby has also talked of putting a hold on the nomination of Bolden and Garver if he did not get his way. Apparently, he has gotten his way and The White House/NASA have compromised on how that stimulus money will be spent - to Shelby's satisfaction. Stay tuned - imagine what Shelby will do if/when the Augustine Commission comes back with suggestions that Ares 1 be cancelled.

Diversion of $100 million to Alabama's Ares program could impact Cape Canaveral workforce, Orlando Sentinel

"For months, a powerful Republican senator from Alabama has fought the Obama administration to block $150 million that the White House wanted to spend to help private companies build rockets capable of reaching the international space station. Now, it appears that U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby has won, in a decision that could have a major impact on the Cape Canaveral work force and America's continued access to space. According to administration and industry sources, Shelby insisted that $100 million of the money -- part of $1 billion set aside for NASA under this spring's economic-stimulus bill -- be diverted to Constellation, the troubled rocket program meant to replace the space shuttle after its 2010 retirement."

AIP FYI #85: Senate FY 2010 NASA Funding Bill

"Taking a different approach to the funding of the human space flight program than did the House, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its report, 111-34, accompanying its FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill. The House has passed its version of this legislation. The House bill deferred a requested increase in the Exploration budget pending the results of the Augustine committee's review, an approach that Senate appropriators did not take.

The FY 2009 appropriation was $17.782 billion.
The Administration's request was $18.686 billion, an increase of 5.1 percent or $903.6 million.
The House appropriations bill recommended $18.203 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent or $420.9 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $18.686 billion, the Administration's request."



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