I’m not sure how NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. thinks that canceling the only rocket able to launch in the next 3-5 years and get our astronauts back up into orbit, how he thinks canceling the very large Ares V that is needed to get a lunar lander to the Moon, will “…get [us] there perhaps quicker than we would have done before.”
I admire the Marine General for his past accomplishments. Goodness knows, he has put his life on the line more than most ever do, obviously including any of us. But standing up and saluting a President’s orders when those orders will cause long-term harm to this nation’s ability to lead in space is not doing the nation any favors. I am not saying that I don’t want Gen. Bolden as NASA’s Administrator. He is much better than any of his likely replacements. And he does have a certain understated quality about him, such as when he opines,
What’s exciting is that we’re now going to have a national debate about where we need to be going in terms of space exploration.
Unlike in past debates over space priorities, at the end of this debate, there will be very real winners and looses, careers broken and companies thrown into disarray. But it may also be the case that for the first time since its inception, NASA will emerge as an agency with a constituency of many, the Congress, rather than one, the President, as Dr. Hans Mark was so apt to tell us.
(Via Florida Today.)