Bolden, Garver Receive Warm Welcomes on Capitol Hill

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Charlie Bolden, nominee to head NASA, gets a warning at Senate confirmation hearing
Cleveland.com

Committee members largely praised Bolden, a 62-year-old retired Marine Corps general who would be the space agency’s first black leader. Still, Bolden came under intense questioning from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, who chairs the committee. He twice questioned Bolden on what he would do to reinvigorate an agency that he said has suffered from “some really bad mess-ups,” including two shuttle disasters.

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White House Looking for Prize Ideas

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Thomas Kalil, the deputy director for policy with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, has posted a blog entry (reproduced below) in which he asks for ideas on prizes that the government could sponsor.

In recent years, there has been a renaissance in “incentive prizes” – which reward contestants for achieving a specific future goal.

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Is Obama Shortchanging NASA?

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Lawmakers Concerned about NASA’s Human Spaceflight Future
Space News

During a series of budget hearings last week, lawmakers pressed acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese to concede that U.S. President Barack Obama’s five-year budget plan does not support a robust human spaceflight program capable of delivering astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

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Bolden Nominated for NASA Administrator

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President Barack Obama today nominated four-time space shuttle veteran Charles Bolden to become the next NASA administrator, a slot that has been vacant since Jan. 20.

The President also nominated Lori Garver as deputy administrator. Garver is a former NASA associate administrator who headed up Obama’s NASA transition team.

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Obama Makes Call to Atlantis Astronauts

President Barack Obama talks on the telephone to the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis from the Oval Office, Wednesday, May 20, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.
President Barack Obama talks on the telephone to the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis from the Oval Office, Wednesday, May 20, 2009. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.

Below is a transcript of the call that President Barack Obama put in to the space shuttle Atlantis yesterday. During the call, he chats with the crew and promises to name a new NASA Administrator soon.

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Bolden Meets Obama; No Word on Administrator Offer

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The Associated Press reports that although Barack Obama and Charles Bolden met earlier today, there’s no word on whether the president offered the former astronaut NASA’s top job:

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Obama met with Charles Bolden, a former shuttle commander and retired Marine major general. Shapiro says they spoke about ideas for making NASA stronger, their commitment to space exploration and Bolden’s ideas for the agency’s future.

The administration isn’t expected to announce a new NASA chief immediately.

Bolden Update: Obama Delays Meeting Until Tuesday

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President Barack Obama postponed his meeting with former NASA astronaut Charles Bolden Jr. until Tuesday morning because an earlier meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ran longer than expected.

Bolden is the front-runner for NASA administrator, a post that has been vacant since Mike Griffin resigned on January 20.

Bolden: My Nomination as NASA Chief is News to Me

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Space News is reporting that Charles Bolden is surprised by news of his supposed nomination as NASA’s new administrator:

U.S. President Barack Obama’s science adviser told Congress May 14 a NASA administrator will be announced “very shortly,” and government and industry sources said the top choice for the job is retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charlie Bolden, a former astronaut who served as a NASA assistant deputy administrator in the early 1990s.

However, reached by phone May 15, Bolden told Space News he had not been asked to take the job and had no plans to meet with White House officials to discuss it.

“I am hearing the rumors, and as far as I know there is no truth in the rumors,” Bolden said. “You can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when you haven’t had a conversation. I haven’t had that conversation and I don’t have one scheduled.”

Read the full story.

NBC News: Charles Bolden is New NASA Administrator

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NBC News is reporting that former astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr. will “likely” be named the new head of the space agency next week:

Former astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr. will meet with President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday morning and likely will be appointed the new NASA administrator, a senior administration official told NBC News on Thursday.

If he is chosen as expected, Bolden, a veteran of four spaceflights with more than 680 hours in Earth orbit, would be the first African-American appointed to NASA’s top post. Bolden retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 as a major general.

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Opinion: Crist Must Fix Space Florida Fast

Space Florida

Our views: Fixing the damage
Florida Today

Gov. Charlie Crist should act at once to reorganize the agency, naming a space industry expert to the leadership post. He should also consider other reforms and is under growing pressure to do it, with Nelson saying Friday, “It’s time to clean house at Space Florida and move ahead with an aggressive schedule for a commercial space industry in Florida.”

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Space Foundation on NASA Budget: Blech!

nasa_logoSPACE FOUNDATION PRESS RELEASE

The Space Foundation has released the following statement from Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham regarding the FY2010 NASA Budget Request:

“The NASA budget proposal is disappointingly business-as-usual. Despite what appears to be an increase to the top line, the NASA budget continues a more-than-two-decade decline in real, inflation-adjusted dollars.

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