Thursday, March 4, 2010

NASA Chief Bolden Seeks 'Plan B' for the Space Agency

Today's Wall Street Journal reports
that NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has given senior managers direction to draft a "Plan B" that might appease Congressional critics of the Obama administration's proposed FY 2011 NASA budget.

In an internal National Aeronautics and Space Administration memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bolden ordered officials to map out "what a potential compromise might look like" to satisfy critics on Capitol Hill. By calling for an alternative plan, Mr. Bolden threatened to undercut White House efforts to get its proposed NASA budget through Congress.

UPDATE March 5, 2010Space News reports there may not be a "Plan B" after all.

Bolden, however, said March 4 that he did not request NASA human spaceflight officials to come up with an alternative to Obama's plan.

"The President’s Budget for NASA is my budget. I strongly support the priorities and the direction for NASA that he has put forward," Bolden said in a written statement. "I'm open to hearing ideas from any member of the NASA team, but I did not ask anybody for an alternative to the President's plan and budget. We have to be forward thinking and aggressive in our pursuit of new technologies to take us beyond low-Earth orbit, and the President's plan does this. After years of underinvestment in new technology and unrealistic budgeting, we finally have an ambitious plan for NASA that sets the agency on a reinvigorated path of space exploration."

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