NASA’s spaced-out mission no longer includes … space

posted at 8:55 am on July 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The big takeaway from Byron York’s piece on the new mission of NASA will probably focus on making Muslims feel better about their scientific achievements, but that’s really just one part of the problem.  The expressed instructions from Barack Obama to Charles Bolden, the new administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, all have one thing in common: they have nothing to do with space.  Obama’s three new objectives have nothing to do with anything for which Congress should provide funds to NASA:

In a far-reaching restatement of goals for the nation’s space agency, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to “re-inspire children” to study science and math, to “expand our international relationships,” and to “reach out to the Muslim world.”  Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is “perhaps foremost,” because it will help Islamic nations “feel good” about their scientific accomplishments.

In the same interview, Bolden also said the United States, which first sent men to the moon in 1969, is no longer capable of reaching beyond low earth orbit without help from other nations.

Bolden made the statements during a recent trip to the Middle East.  He told al-Jazeera that in the wake of the president’s speech in Cairo last year, the American space agency is now pursuing “a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.”  Then:

When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — [Obama] charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

Hey, maybe that’s why Obama hasn’t taken the Iranian effort to build a nuclear bomb all that seriously until now.  He just wanted Iran to make the Muslim world feel good about their achievements in science!  And it’s hard to do to that unless you talk a lot about outstretched open hands — and ignore a freedom movement that wants to depose the brutal tyrants who are trying to give the Muslim world a new “historic contribution.”

Actually, Muslim nations should be insulted by the idea that the US pays NASA to provide them with paternalistic and patronizing validation and self-esteem boosts. And they probably will be.

The problem Byron uncovers goes farther than just the Muslim outreach, though.  NASA has always inspired children and even bolstered international relations, but not because that was its mission.  It did those things by pursuing solid goals of exploration of space, which is why Congress funds the agency.  Those esteem-boosters came as a secondary result of actual achievement, not as an end in itself.  The Obama administration wants to turn this over onto its head by making NASA a bureaucracy dedicated to self-esteem which might at some point have a goal that has to do with exploration of space.

This is a recipe for failure on an expensive scale.  Congress needs to either get the White House to redefine its mission for NASA or cut off its funds until the self-esteem party is canceled.


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Remember, this is the same agency that employed James Hansen.

Badger40 on July 6, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Just when you think Obamalinsky can’t suck any worse. This guy is a National Disaster. I’m really hoping both Houses of Congress go Republican in November, and by this time next year, we have Lame Duck Joe Bite Me to coast in until real leaders take over this failed Marxist experiment. I want my country back…..

And the left called Bush an idiot for eight years. He looked like a NASA scientist compared to this pile of Kenyan shite……….

adamsmith on July 5, 2010 at 3:16 PM


We’ll need both houses to IMPEACH DOTUS!!!

PappyD61 on July 6, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Ooohh. Wait.
I know why BO’s done this.
They finally found the Stargate!!!!
There’s no reason for NASA now!

Badger40 on July 6, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Impeach and Remove…….
Impeach and Remove…….

Save the Republic……..
Impeach and Remove…….

Start the proceedings in the House…..and then have Chief Justice John Roberts (who flubbed the oath) preside over the impeachment trial in the Senate and then announce that DOTUS has been removed from office by a vote in the Senate.

HISTORIC…..UNPRECEDENTED…..The first American in history actually removed from office by Impeachment.

PappyD61 on July 6, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Not sure if anyone noticed this, but Bolden’s son is named … Anthony Che.

I’m not kidding.

Niko on July 6, 2010 at 9:17 AM

If NASA isn’t working on projects in the areas of Aeronatics and Space, then they should be defunded and disbanded.

We don’t need to spend billions of dollars on another agency to make kids or muslims feel good about themselves.

hawksruleva on July 6, 2010 at 10:17 AM

hawksruleva on July 6, 2010 at 10:17 AM

agree and I have family working in the space industry…this is infuriating to say the least…

cmsinaz on July 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Hussein ibn Obooba wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

No one needs to help genuine achievers feel good about their genuine achievements.

This is make believe, Obooba style.

Akzed on July 6, 2010 at 12:17 PM

…to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

I didn’t see this in H.R.6063, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008, commemorating the 50th anniversary of NASA.

Fallon on July 6, 2010 at 12:46 PM

In the same interview, Bolden also said the United States, which first sent men to the moon in 1969, is no longer capable of reaching beyond low earth orbit without help from other nations.

WTH?!? So now we’re a second-rate, third world country, that needs the help of other third world countries to pursue space exploration? Obama and Bolden are full of crap.

Ward Cleaver on July 6, 2010 at 1:37 PM

NASA to be changed to NMSEA – National Muslim Self-Esteem Administration.

The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center will be turned into a collection of minarets, while the Vehicle Assembly Building will become the world’s largest Mosque. The ISS will be equipped with a special instrument that constantly points to the direction of Mecca.

Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Rastafarians, Wiccans, and especially Jews are apparently not deserving of their own special administration. For some reason they don’t need government subsidized self-esteem boosting.

ZenDraken on July 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM

If I understand this correctly, we will have to go to the Russians hat in hand in order to get any of our people up in space again. How long will it take them to decide that they can charge us any amount of money for the ride? Or refuse to take our folks unless we change our policy toward, say, Israel? Kennedy would spin in his crypt.

I’m going to re-read “Live from Cape Canaveral,” which Jay Barbree wrote several years ago. Give it a read if you haven’t already.

KyMouse on July 6, 2010 at 1:56 PM

KyMouse on July 6, 2010 at 1:56 PM

They’ve already upped the price for a Soyuz ride from $30 million to $50 million per seat.

Hey, it’s just business. When the supplier has a monopoly, the supplier sets the price.

“Help us Obi-Wan-SpaceX, you are our only hope.”

ZenDraken on July 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM

The expressed instructions from Barack Obama to Charles Bolden, the new administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, all have one thing in common: they have nothing to do with space.

NASA = No Americans in Space Anymore

BDU-33 on July 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

This was in an interview with Al-Jazeera? Why would the head of NASA even grant them an interview?

THe NASA PR folks are trying to walk back Bolden’s statement. But even the venue in which he spoke supports his position.

hawksruleva on July 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Not sure if anyone noticed this, but Bolden’s son is named … Anthony Che.

I’m not kidding.

Niko on July 6, 2010 at 9:17 AM

That appears to be a surname, not a middle name, and he’s a Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps. It may be a name from a prior marriage of Bolden’s or his wife’s.

I think you may have the wrong end of the stick on that one.

On the other hand, I think Charles Bolden himself appears to be padlocked to the wrong end of the stick, so there you are.

Merovign on July 6, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Hey, in the spirit of the breathtakingly stupid self-esteem movement of recent years, there’s a simple way for NASA to accomplish this new mission. Just issue lots of meaningless awards of “participation” to the Muslim world for their vast but non-specified contributions to science and technology.

In other words, award all Muslims the Nobel Prize.

ZenDraken on July 6, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Jelly, you got that right. I say the same thing about most everything this guy does – where does he get the authority? Perhaps we have discovered a flaw in out system of checks and balances – when the same party controls executive and legislative branches, and marches lockstep to the same tune, then there is effectively NO check on power, and we have tyranny.

Mr. Pickles on July 5, 2010 at 9:00 PM

What I see is a little man ordering other little men to fall in line. He will keep ordering all the other little men until a real man stands up and says, “No, you have no authority. I will not cooperate.”
Then we will see what Obama does next. What will a little man do when people stop bowing to his every whim?
See, I say this started way back with the firing of the GM CEO. That man should have stayed in his office until Obama had him taken out in handcuffs. And then he should have filed a lawsuit. Sure, easy for me to say as I sit here typing safely on a keyboard. But the truth is, if people just keep obeying his dictates where he has no authority, then eventually he will be deemed as indeed, having that authority. That’s how dictatorships begin.

JellyToast on July 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Alternative mission for NASA — Obama Vows Man Will Walk on Pie in the Sky by 2016:

http://optoons.blogspot.com/2010/07/obama-vows-man-will-walk-on-pie-in-sky.html

Mervis Winter on July 6, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Merovign on July 6, 2010 at 2:57 PM

No, in fact Che is his son’s middlename.

Niko on July 6, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Well they certainly have the countdown part already mastered. All I can say is things are in the works and Mr. Boldens days may be numbered. Like cancelling the Hubble mission, this too needs to be reversed!!!

johnnyU on July 6, 2010 at 10:20 PM

gimme some Tang with a side of dehydrated KFC and Im good.

johnnyU on July 6, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Muslim nations have made no contributions to math or science. All of that was done before they became “Muslim nations”. They are stuck in the 7th century and would be completely ignored if not for the oil under their feet. Their religion should be banned for the good of mankind.

Highplains on July 7, 2010 at 12:42 AM

To paraphrase the late Supreme Guide, “There is no science in Islam.”

PKO Strany on July 7, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Obamateurism of the Millennium?

hillbillyjim on July 7, 2010 at 2:04 AM

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