NASA chief expects to be replaced
Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:12 PM
NASA chief administrator Mike Griffin’s last day as the head of the US space agency will come on the first day on the job for President-elect Barack Obama: January 20, 2009. With just under two weeks until Obama’s inauguration, Griffin has not been asked to stay on, so he has officially submitted his resignation, effective the 20th. A 2005 appointee of current President George W. Bush, Griffin has said that he would like to stay on as NASA Administrator and that he serves at the pleasure of the president, but that he does not expect to be asked to stay.
The Government Accountability Office has rated the 2010 retirement of the space shuttle fleet as one of the top 13 issues that will be on the desk of the new president after he takes office. Obama’s administration is expected to nominate a new NASA leadership team for congressional approval before they make any major decisions with regards to the shuttle fleet or any other part of US space policy.
Rumored to be at the top of the Obama transition team’s list to head NASA is former astronaut Charlie Bolden. If approved, Bolden would be the first African-American to head NASA. He flew on four space shuttle missions, including the flight that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint US-Russia shuttle mission. He also flew in 1986 with Congressman Bill Nelson, who now serves as one of the two senators from Florida - the home of NASA’s sprawling Kennedy Space Center.
Also up for consideration is former astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space. She served on the commissions that investigated the accidents that claimed the space shuttle Challenger and Columbia. Former NASA manager Alan Stern, who once served as an associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate is also on the list. Stern has recently criticized the rampant cost overruns that have plagued NASA’s space science missions. Wesley Huntress is also up for consideration, he worked in a the management teams that developed the Magellan Venus probe, Hubble Space Telescope, and Galileo Jupiter probe. Last, is Scott Hubbard, who reorganized the space agency’s Mars program after the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter and Deep Space 2 in 1999. He later served as the head of the NASA Ames Research Center in California and currently works with the SETI Institute.
The Obama-Biden Transition Team and all of the rumored candidates have not commented on the selection process.
Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:57 AM
This post has been edited by Overmind: 02 September 2009 - 02:57 AM