Transition: February 2009 Archives

Editor's 30 Jan note: I keep hearing the name Lester Lyles mentioned as a possible choice for NASA Administrator. He was a senior Obama campaign advisor, served on the President's Commission on U.S. Space Policy, has extensive space experience from his days in the USAF, is participating in the ongoing NAS study "Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program", and is also a member of the NASA Advisory Council. Unlike Scott Gration, Lyles has obvious space creds. I have always been impressed by him.

This of course could mean absolutely nothing - just idle chatter on a Friday - and what fun is a Friday without some unsubstantiated rumors and gossip, eh?

Caveat emptor.

Editor's 17 Feb update: Lyles' name is suddenly making the rounds again here in Washington - this time with much more of an air of certainty.

Editor's note: In this video, President Obama speaks about the value of science and technology and our future workforce.

Video below.

Obama down to four names for NASA chief, Orlando Sentinel

"President Obama told Florida lawmakers on Tuesday that he was down to four names in his search for a new NASA chief, although Obama would not reveal the finalists, according to congressional sources. House Democrats from Florida, including U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando, traveled with Obama during his trip to Fort Myers to tout his partys $800 billion economic stimulus plan. During the commute, Florida lawmakers had a chance to quiz the new president on a variety of issues, including NASA."

Earlier speculation

Scott Gration - Current Position: NASAAdministrator (since January 2009), (Washington Post)

"His Air Force and administrative experience will come in handy when Gration takes the helm of NASA as the head administrator."

Editor's 1:44 pm EST note: It would seem that ("A Washington Post Company Publication") is about a month behind the times as far as next NASA administrator trial balloon derby is concerned.

Editor's 6:30 pm EST update: They updated their website. It now says "Current Position: Adviser to President Barack Obama (since 2006)".

Political Tensions Hamper Search for NASA Chief, Wall Street Journal

"Disagreements between the White House and some senior Democratic lawmakers have complicated the choice of the next U.S. civilian space chief -- and led to the emergence of a possible compromise candidate. Retired four-star Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles is now viewed as new contender to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to lawmakers and aerospace industry officials. Gen. Lyles once headed the country's missile-defense program and more recently participated in blue-ribbon commissions studying manned space exploration."

White House Press Briefing With Press Secretary Robert Gibbs 4 February 2009

"Q Robert, the James A. Baker Institute is recommending that the Obama administration defer another lunar shot, and instead focus on energy and climate change. Does the White House have a reaction on that?

MR. GIBBS: I don't have anything particularly from -- I would point you to folks over at NASA. I don't have any particular guidance on that."

On a tough day, Obama escapes for a while, AP

"With little notice, the president and first lady Michelle Obama bolted the gated compound of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in their tank of a limousine on Tuesday. They ended up at a Washington public school, greeted by children who could not care less about the collapse of a Cabinet secretary nomination. ... He was upbeat. He and his wife read the students a book about the inspirational story of astronauts landing on the moon. He took a class photo, accepted hugs from the children, thanked them for pictures they made him, and even delivered them a couple of brown-paper bags full of books."

Second-graders brighten Obama's Daschle-dashed day, Christian Science Monitor

"After pleasantries, the president and Mrs. Obama began to read "The Moon Over Star" by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkey. The book is about Neil Armstrong's moon landing. A White House handout noted that "for the young protagonist of this lyrical and hopeful picture book, that landing is something that inspires her to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities that life has to offer." ... When the story was over, the president said, "That's a nice book." Then he asked who wanted to be an astronaut. One student said yes. "What else do people want to be?" he asked. The replies included doctor, football player, and sculptor. One boy wanted to be president. "I think you might make it," the president said."

The Moon Over Star



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This page is an archive of entries in the Transition category from February 2009.

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