Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Senate Works to Confirm Bolden as Administrator

Former astronaut Charles F. Bolden appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for face to face discussions this afternoon in confirmation hearings to select Bolden as NASA's next administrator.

"Today we have to choose. Either we can invest in building upon our hard earned world technological leadership or we can abandon this commitment, ceding it to others who are working vigilantly to push the frontiers of space," Bolden told senators as part of his opening comments.

Bolden also outlined to senators his thoughts on how he would run NASA.

"If we choose to lead, we must earn that leadership by committing to confront the following challenges:
1) Build upon our investment in the ISS, a unique national laboratory, and a bridge to human exploration beyond low Earth orbit, as we safely and efficiently bring the shuttle era to a close.
2) Accelerate with a sense of urgency the development of a next generation launch system and human carrier to enable America and other space faring nations of the world to execute the mission of expanding our human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
3) Enhance NASA’s capability and organic expertise to provide credible scientific, technological, and engineering leadership to help us better understand our Earth environment.
4) Inspire the rising generation of boys and girls to become men and women committed to increasing knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by making NASA and its programs relevant to the American public."

Bolden flew on four space shuttle missions after joining NASA's astronaut corps in 1980. He also served as assistant deputy administrator in the 1990's.

Along with Bolden on the confirmation ride is Lori Garver as deputy administrator.

The committee recessed at 4:24 pm.

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