NASA administrator addresses Thursday's expected space flight report - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

NASA administrator addresses Thursday's expected space flight report

By Liz Hurley - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Thursday will be pivotal day for NASA, as the Augustine Commission releases its expansive final report on the future of human space flight. That report coming out just days before an experimental rocket is due to launch on a test flight.

The blue-ribbon panel formed by President Barack Obama is tasked with giving America a roadmap for the future; strategic suggestions on space exploration once the space shuttle retires.

On Wednesday, NASA's administrator Charlie Bolden traveled to the home of rocket science to talk about about people in politics and public relations. He spoke to students and space enthusiasts all day, marketing and selling space.

But the one project many in north Alabama want to know is whether he's selling Ares 1, the Huntsville-designed and developed replacement for the shuttle, which has a prototype sitting on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center ready for an Oct. 27 test flight. But the rocket may get nixed by the Augustine Commission and Obama.

When WAFF 48 News' Liz Hurley asked Holden, "The future is tentative right now, so you say the Ares 1 program is going to fly?" he responded. "I said the Ares 1X is going to fly. The future is not tentative. The future is in exploration. The president has said that. The president is a visionary."

"There are a million different routes to go where you want to go," Bolden said. "I know we want to go to Mars one of these days. How we get there is not yet decided, that's not tentative. That's constructive discussion and dialogue that will go on."

The dialogue will go on Wednesday and Thursday and in the days ahead after the Augustine report is released. Bolden said he has developed "figures of merit" that he will compile and use in his discussions with Obama. No final decisions on the shuttle's replacement are expected anytime soon.

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