Friday, July 1, 2011
Bolden: Critics "Living on Another Planet"
STS-134 commander Mark Kelly, the husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, joined NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden at today's press conference.
In a speech delivered today at the National Press Club, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden defended the Obama administration's course of the future of the U.S. human spaceflight program, saying that those who claim American leadership in space is coming to an end "must be living on another planet."
So when I hear people say — or listen to media reports — that the final Shuttle flight marks the end of U.S. human spaceflight, I have to say . . . these folks must be living on another planet. We are not ending human space flight, we are recommitting ourselves to it and taking the necessary — and difficult — steps today to ensure America’s pre-eminence in human space exploration for years to come.
Click on the below image to watch Bolden's press conference:
... or click here to go to the NASA multimedia page.
The speech could be viewed as a defiant rebuke of politicians and others who have falsely claimed that the Obama administration has turned over control of NASA's future to Russia and China. Among those are Space Coast representatives Sandy Adams and Bill Posey.
Bolden hinted at "major announcements" in coming days regarding commercial crew development and the leasing of Kennedy Space Center facilities to commercial interests.
And speaking of those facilities at KSC and across the agency, we have had tremendous interest from our commercial space partners in re-using or leasing these assets — and are close to making some major announcements about them soon. The re-use of our unique NASA assets, like the Orbiter Processing Facilities, will help these companies keep their costs down and create jobs for the space industry of tomorrow.
I found this passage particularly interesting, because I heard a rumor about who was going into OPF-3, which was formerly assigned to the orbiter Discovery but is currently inactive. A June 3 report had Space Florida in negotiations to lease OPF-3 on behalf of an unnamed aerospace company. If it's who the rumor claimed is in there, it's certainly going to be a "major announcement" as Bolden said.
As detailed in the USA Today report, STS-134 commander Mark Kelly joined Bolden at the press conference. Kelly is the husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
In response to rumors that he might run for office, Kelly said "She's the politician" but didn't seem to rule it out.