Saturday, July 2, 2011
So, watch the video. And then read Charlie Bolden's speech to the National Press Club yesterday, on the eve of the final space shuttle launch (PDF linked below, you can also see the speech on the NASA website).
On the face of it, nothing we didn't know already. Maintain the ISS, turn over low-earth orbit ferry service to the private sector, manned missions to the moon and beyond earth's gravity to Mars and an unspecified asteroid. Quickly, and on a shoestring budget, using a soon-to-be-announced Space Launch System which I suspect is going to look a helluva lot like Constellation. Not mentioned, but the James Webb Space Telescope is still on track to replace Hubble.
Not exactly revelatory.
What is new, and especially evident in Bolden's speech, is an attitude and, dare I say it, a fire, in Bolden's demeanor and even in the video. We haven't seen this for a while, either from NASA as a whole or from Bolden himself. It's good to see. Bolden spoke of "challenges" but never once used the word "budget", which after his past several speeches was refreshing.
It's really good to see NASA picking up the ball and running with it.
Also, it looks like Huntsville will take the lead on the SLS, congrats to all the good folk at Marshall! It's time you guys got some good news.
Welcome back, NASA. We've missed you.
Here's Bolden's speech: