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MSNBC VIDEO – Bill Nelson: Obama Wants to go to Mars

MSNBC VIDEO: Former astronaut, and current U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, tells msnbc that while President Obama seeks an end the space shuttle program, he may direct NASA to aim for missions to Mars.

Senator Bill Nelson says White House Will Support Robust U.S. Space Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following publication today of a new report on the future of NASA, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said President Obama has assured him the space program will get what it needs.

The report, prepared by the White House’s Augustine Commission, suggests several options for NASA’s future beyond the space shuttle and International Space Station missions. But it says America’s space program “appears to be on an unsustainable trajectory.”

“It is perpetuating the perilous practice of pursuing goals that do not match allocated resources,” the report says. More specifically, the space program needs another $3 billion annually.

“I’ve asked the president to use money from leftover stimulus funds,” said Nelson, in a prepared statement. “I’ve also asked him to help minimize the job losses after the space shuttle is retired, in part, by transferring other NASA-related work to Cape Canaveral.

“He’s assured me that NASA will get enough money to do what it does best: go explore the heavens,” Nelson said.

The Florida Democrat is the only sitting member of Congress to have flown in space. He did so aboard Columbia in 1986. He’s remained an outspoken advocate of space exploration.

In addition to pressing the administration to use leftover stimulus money to bolster the program, he played key roles in getting an extra $1 billion to extend the life of the shuttle and in the selection of new NASA administrator Charlie Bolden.

“Whatever the president chooses, I will continue to fight to get NASA the funding it needs for the next generation of human spaceflight,” Nelson said today. “It’s critical for Florida and the country.”

Charlie Bolden Confirmed by Senate as New NASA Chief


According to US Senator Bill Nelson’s Twitter account:

“Charlie Bolden (was) just confirmed by (the) Senate as (the) nation’s new space czar (NASA Administrator). He’s perfect to keep America leading in space, science and technology … I’ve known Charlie Bolden the better part of a quarter century, since he was my pilot on the space shuttle in 1986 … Naval academy grad, Marine test pilot, astronaut, general – Charlie will bring back the magic from a time when we rode rockets to the moon”

President Obama taps Charles Bolden for NASA Chief


President Barack Obama officially announced his intent to nominate  General Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA and Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator of NASA.

The President said, “These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of America’s space program.”

US Senator and one time Shuttle Astronaut Bill Nelson said, “When people get to know Charles Bolden you’ll see why the President picked him. He’s a patriot, a leader, and a visionary, and he understands the workings of NASA and the importance of America remaining a leader in science and technology through space exploration.

New NASA chief: Astronaut Charles F. Bolden


NASA Astronaut Charles F. Bolden is likely to be named NASA’s new administrator. He is expected to meet with President Obama on Monday. Bolden flew on four space shuttle missions and commanded the first shuttle mission to include a Russian cosmonaut.

FAST FACT: Astronaut Bolden was on Columbia STS-61C the last flight before the Challenger disaster; STS-61C included a special passenger: Senator Bill Nelson.

White House Tells Sen. Nelson Shuttle Will Fly all 9 Remaining Missions


Senator Bill Nelson tweeted “White House tells me the president will fly all nine remaining shuttle missions – even if it means flying the shuttle an extra year.”

View the Tweet


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