On May 23, the White House selected former astronaut and Marine general, Charles Bolden Jr., as the nominee for the Administrator of NASA. Mr. Bolden will walk into a role left vacant since Mike Griffin stepped down in January 2009.
With NASA being one of the most-geeky agencies in the US government, there is tremendous interest in divining where Mr. Bolden plans to take the organization. The biggest decision at hand being whether the agency continues with former President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration or makes major changes to the Constellation program.
As Mr. Bolden progresses through the confirmation process in the Senate, a parallel effort is being led by Norman Augustine as the Chairman of the Human Space Flight Review. This panel of experts will take a look at the existing NASA human space flight programs and make a recommendation as to the way forward. Mr. Augustine chaired a similar panel back in the 1990′s. There are a number of competing camps that are clamoring to get the ear of the panel and now the ear of Mr. Bolden as well.
These are exciting times for space geeks!