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Other Names Indicate Greening of NASA, Focus on Science

By Keith Cowing
January 8, 2009

Earth Scientist Emerges as Possible Replacement for NASA Chief,

“Despite a last-ditch campaign by some supporters to keep NASA Administrator Mike Griffin on the job, the transition team of President-elect Barack Obama is now vetting a handful of replacement candidates, among them scientist Charles Kennel, who previously ran the agency’s Earth science division, according to sources familiar with the situation.”

NAC Science Committee Continues to Shrink, earlier post

“The NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Science Committee has just lost three of its members. Charles Kennel (Chair), Wes Huntress, and Eugene Levy have resigned. More to follow. Word has it that the three committee members who quit were asked to quit because of their insistence that they wanted to give advice to NASA regarding its entire range of science research – not just the subset relating to moon exploration.”

It is rocket science – NASA can bring space advancements down to benefit Earth, MarketWatch

“NASA is promoting itself in more down to earth terms these days: It claims the technology it develops to explore life in outer space can actually help sustain life on this planet. NASA’s “Greenspace” is a Web site launched last year to showcase several environmentally friendly projects that are underway at NASA’s Ames Research Center.”


Editor’s note: This is a far more likely outcome given the pattern and themes that Obama’s team has followed on related nominations such as OSTP and NOAA. Wes Huntress has reportedly taken himself out of consideration otherwise he’d fit the bill as well. One thing to note folks: if someone is under consideration, they certainly know it by now. And if they know it, as Scott Pace wisely suggested, they don’t show it. You do not do this sort of thing at the last minute – especially within the “No Drama Obama” team.

Meanwhile, Gen. Bolden still claims to have not been contacted in any way. Other names that continue to fill up my email box include Stern, Worden, Hubbard. And the fact that I keep hearing them means absolutely nothing. As has been the case with O’Keefe and Griffin – and with most of the Obama nominees – it is likely that the real name will emerge only shortly before they are formally named.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.