NASA head: "This isn't the end for the workforce here"
NASA's head Charlie Bolden believes the agency's vision will continue after shuttle lands
July 18th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

NASA head: "This isn't the end for the workforce here"

Editor's note: John Zarrella  is a principal correspondent for CNN's coverage of the U.S. space program, covering such events such as John Glenn's 1998 return to space, the Mars Pathfinder mission and numerous space shuttle launches.

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis touches down at the Kennedy Space Center, it will be a satisfying moment for NASA’s top man Charlie Bolden, himself a former shuttle astronaut.

“That will signal that we have completed what I set out to do with shuttle when I became NASA Administrator, safely flying out the shuttle program” Bolden said.

During an exclusive interview at the Florida launch complex just days after the Atlantis launch, Bolden discussed a wide range of issues facing the U.S. Space Agency, not the least of which is the loss of a highly skilled workforce.

“I’d like to talk to people from Silicon Valley to get them to come here”, Bolden said. “This is an incredibly rich area of the country and I think people are missing the boat here.  They’re missing out on the most talented workforce in the world. I have people here who can do anything.”

They may be able to do anything but most won’t doing what love, very much longer.

A day after Atlantis, the last shuttle to fly, comes home, more than two thousand workers at Kennedy will be laid off, joining thousands of others who have already gotten pink slips.

“This is not the end for the workforce here. We’re transitioning them,” Bolden insists, “We have spent six, seven years developing and conducting a very, very well thought out very rigorous transition program, plan to get from shuttle to the next program.”

The next NASA program is however years away.  The space agency is developing a new heavy lift rocket and capsule that will take humans first to an asteroid and then to Mars. But, the first test flight won’t be before 2016.

The NASA Administrator says, “The future for America and our partners is beyond low earth orbit.  It’s beyond the moon.  It’s back to the moon when we have to but to an asteroid in 2025; to Mars in 2030.  Those are achievable goals.   Congress has got to help us there.  The American public has got to continue to give us the support.”

Right now Congress is not in a giving mood and has apparently lost its patience with NASA over on very big ticket item. The latest space telescope is now under a congressional microscope.

The James Webb telescope was supposed to be the next generation Hubble and was already supposed to be in space.  It was supposed to cost less than two billion dollars.  Now, the price tag is up to around seven billion and it won’t be ready to fly for at least another four years at best.

Bolden says it would be a terrible loss to science if Webb is cancelled.  He insists NASA is now on the right track with Webb but he understands the telescope is on shaky ground.

“We will do what the congress dictates.  I’m very hopeful we can convince them of the importance of James Webb and we can get their support for funding for it.”  Bolden added, “It’s very difficult times right now fiscally.  The nation has to decide what’s important to us.”

The space agency has come under continued fire as an agency with no goal once shuttle stops flying.  That couldn’t be further from the truth, Bolden bristles.

“President Obama has given us an incredible opportunity to hit the restart button.  For the first time ever, we are now looking at going back to where we were in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, looking at an exploration program where we take humans beyond where we’ve been before, beyond the moon to an asteroid as the president has directed.  He’s thrown down the gauntlet and I’m picking it up.”

Post by:
Filed under: News • Voices
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. rEfurbishments kidderminster

    In this computing business atmosphere, the computing units use a distinct shelf-life over and above that your functionality of the computing products continues to be able to drop. Ordinary ...Office Refurbishments London

    February 14, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  2. Tha Chikin

    I witnessed the launch on the 8th and it was really amazing... all 5 seconds of it!

    Almost every red blooded American is in support of space exploration. Here is an idea: instead of shutting everything down waiting for the government to get their act together (which may never happen), why don't they start a donation program? I mean... they have it for the ASPCA, Cancer research, Wildlife fund, Presidential WHATEVER fund, etc. I would be proud send NASA dontations! That way, the next time there is a launch, I can say... "hey, I helped make that happen".

    Granted, my piddly little $25 every now and again doesn't mean squat to the billions they need... but I am sure I would not be the only one that would donate. There are plenty of space geeks out there like myself that really want to see a man on Mars.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  3. Justnorth of the border

    What comes around goes around back in the 50s when the Conservative of Canada cancelled the Avro Arrow fighter plane project Hundreds of the engineers went south and to Europe to work in their areo space industries India and China have a lot of money to go around

    July 20, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • buttefly

      Guess it's not coming around then. Because this isn't even the end of the shuttle project. A new mini shuttle is replacing it, which is far more advanced and cheaper to launch. As well, several capsules are being made. There will be a multi-solution approach to putting people into orbit and beyond, which is the best way.

      The idea that NASA is folding over retiring one of it's oldest working machines is pure Chinese propaganda, from a nation desperate to chase our 40 year old achievements. Good luck, you'll need it with your pirated technology. Lol.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  4. Bill S.

    He is Obama's man to preside over the end of NASA in everything but name. He actually said that the Space Station was NASA's greatest achievement. He must have missed that 'beat the commies to the Moon or they take over the world thing'. Did he cry this time?

    July 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  5. william fitzwater

    I'm sad in a sense to see a end of era. Both in good ways but for the part of the endless cost overruns and open ended contracts. this shuttle program is part of a larg gravy train that for years was part of a works program. the shuttle did not ever make a profit it never was a end all one shoe fits all launch solution . Sadly it was overly complicated need to many resources to support it self became obsolete 70.s era technology. the Russians got it with incremental imporements and use of proven technology. thier cots are also low . The problem is like any thing it take a long time to stop a ship change corse . The space program is going thru a fundental restructing . in a sense so is our own country where the business as usual top down contract that are open ended must give way to focused project with effective priorities and if necessary out sourcing it to privet enterprise. I think NASA is doing the hard work but it will mean a sea change not only for the industry but work forces political structure. change isn't fun particularly if your not in winning side but sometimes it has to be done. The space program should dome this 30 years ago and forgot about the shuttle but it a mistake that is finnaly being corrected.

    July 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  6. 007

    Why is there all the hate for a program that has a huge part of who we are today ... not including the technological achievements that we have accomplished. You are OK with spending 1.5 trillion dollars over 10 years to fight two wars that have only made the world hate America, yet you are b!tching over 200 billion in funding for a program that led to more scientific discoveries than results of the NSF. NASA is one of few remaining light beacons in America today that makes this country so great and demonstrated technological capability of this great nation. You want to moan and b!tch about something, how about the huge bonuses and payouts of financial sector CEO's that have crippled our economy.

    July 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • crusty the clown

      The country is not able to fund it. Our economy is in the crapper. People across the country are homeless and need to rebuild that have no insurance. It's not particularly intelligent to spend tax money on anything else but the people who live on Earth in America. How difficult is this to comprehend unless you stand to lose job security yourself, which is selfish and leaves you outnumbered?

      July 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Sean

        You're ignorant if you think that these needed funds should come from NASA. NASA is much more important than our wars, our tax cuts for the wealthy, and other misguided republican achievements.

        July 26, 2011 at 1:25 am |
    • John


      You got it right!! If we could have a criminal trial for the Wall Streeters who just shared 136 billion in bonuses and a trial for the lobbyists on K Street in Washington and if we can have trials for congress taking bribes and payoffs, once they are found guilty then maybe we could hang them around the Washington Monument. Only then can we start over with a clean slate and perhaps have a chance for righting the wrongs of the greedy bastards that sold this country down the drain.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Jane

    in one word, bs!

    July 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Dan Bednarik

    How about developing a "rail gun" to launch our useless members of Congress into the sun?

    July 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Flipper

    Wow, bet there is going to be some really cheap houses available next to Kennedy in a few months.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  10. The Reality Checker

    “That will signal that we have completed what I set out to do with shuttle" The reason the shuttle was built was to reduce the cost of getting payloads into orbit. The result? The cost per pound of getting material/people into orbit by using the shuttle ended up being 100 times more than the methods used previously. That is not an accomplishment, it's a huge waste of tax dollars. And they wonder why Congress hesitates to approve new projects?

    July 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  11. asgardshill

    Seriously, who typed this article? A trained chimpanzee named Ham? Misspellings, missing words, questionable grammar – yuck.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • RWL

      I couldn't agree more. Where's an editor when you need one.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
      • G

        1980's [sic] ? Bah! Learn correct use of apostrophes.

        July 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  12. kcuhC

    Transitioning these people...key in this is teaching them the phases, "Want fries with that" and "Paper or plastic". We've built a shockingly expensive international space station, and have no reasonable way to get to/from it. The end of the Shuttle program was not an unanticipated event, the fact that NASA does not have a replacement in place is diametrically opposed to the intelligence NASA has come to represent. If the James Webb space telescope is cancelled then as far as I'm concerned, scale NASA back to what it takes to monitor existing probes, and shut it down - who cares. NASA used to inspire the world, now it only inspires bad jokes.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Jose

      They didnt have a replacement ready because they were not given sufficient funds to develop it whilst maintaining the shuttles. Shame on Obama for cutting this magnificant program.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  13. Aerospace

    We could use them! I work in the Aerospace Industry and there is a great need for auditors. To become an aerospace auditor you must have 10 years of industry experience.

    July 19, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  14. FauxNews

    I like space exploration, but it's time to end this Middle Class Welfare called NASA.

    July 19, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Maryellen

      That is such BS ... when the chinese land on the moon in a few years, you will probably be the first to say "NASA should have done that" ...

      July 19, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Faux News

      The amount of contributions we get from space exploration and knowledge of the Universe if pennies on the dollar compared to the amount wasted on religion! One of the contributions is the bloom box which is a fuel cell which can power homes and businesses. The original design was for a trip to Mars to produce oxygen.

      July 19, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Droopy

      Says the guy who uses wireless cellphone technology to get directions on his GPS to the nearest best buy in order to buy a new tv to watch his thousands of channels on.... ignoring the fact that all of that technology relies on space, and satellites. But hey, keep telling yourself NASA doesn't do anything helpful for society or the world. 🙁

      July 19, 2011 at 11:16 am |
      • Maryellen

        Well said!!

        July 19, 2011 at 11:41 am |
      • Propoganda

        Droopy, non of those things require a person in space. Man space program = 12 billion / year, unmaned space program = 6 billion / year. 99.99% of engineering and technology commonly pulled from the propaganda wagon comes from the unmaned program. The simple fact is that the space station and astronaut program has not produced any publishable scientific data of note (composition of moon rocks being the exception – though that could be done robotically). So 30 years of space shuttle times 12 billion dollars = a lot of money that could have been used other places.

        For a comparison the National Science Foundation which funds nearly all graduate research programs in the academic world operates on a 5 billion dollar budget – spread over 100s of universities and departments. Imagine if that budget got an infusion of 12 billion / year!

        PS a 7 billion dollar telescope!!! Pretty expensive pictures... The first 7,000 pictures will only cost 1 million a piece. But once you scale it up to 7 million pictures their still only $1,000 per picture.

        July 19, 2011 at 11:48 am |
      • Hiram

        The US government is spending over $14 billion a month to fight it's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. $20 billion a year just to run the air conditioners in those wars. I'm not saying we should deprive our troops of air conditioning, I'm saying we get them the hell out of there and spend the money on something useful, such as a crumby $5 billion a year to keep the shuttle flying, $12 billion to keep the manned spaceflight program going AND $7 billion for the next generation space telescope. With what is left over we could cancel the national debt and still fund your precious NSF graduate research grants.

        July 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
      • JBC

        Hey Propaganda,

        Do a google search on "NASA Spinoffs" sometime. Actually, do it before you decide to spew your BS again.

        July 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • SuffolkGuy

        Some commenters such as "Propoganda" talk about reallocating NASA funds to NSF, etc. Both are small potatoes. Last time I looked, funding of the National Science Foundation was 7 Billion, while the FY 2009 Fed budget had 24 Billion for No Child Left Behind. So NCLB costs 3 times as much as real science and produces what? Nothing! Such are our political priorities.

        July 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  15. Buzz

    If our country can import labor for a specific job or talent, Apply to another country that can use your talent. Reverse the brain drain. Perhaps the people in congress will get the message.
    But,, I doubt they will, big oil will keep them occupied with counting their money.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  16. Buzz

    John, I agree! Now quit complaining and start doing something about it. You don't like a congress person because of their in big oil's pocket, get out and rally to get them out of office. Let the public know your thoughts anywhere you legally can. Tweet a bunch!

    July 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Buzz

      Sorry, this comment is out of place. Was for John down the page a bit.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  17. Chris I

    Folks, get a grip.
    1) We are in a very serious fiscal crises. There is no money for shooting people into space.. and may not be for a long time... if ever. How can one justify launching taxpayer $$$ into space when millions may have their social security bennefits cut back? Once our $$$ house is in order-we'll see.

    2) Neither Bush, Obama nor the Ronald McDonald is responsible for this situation. The return on investment in MANNED space flight is dubious... at best. It was/is hard to justify larger budgets till NASA finds an objective that unmanned probes cannot do for a lot cheaper. Beyond the budget crises-this is the heart of the problem.

    3) Much like the military-NASA faces a serious structural problem. Developing new technology has gotten mind numbingly expensive... and it seems... we get less vehicle than we used too. Some of this cost might have been deferred if the shuttle program had allowed for a more steady long term tech development program. But that did not happen. The shuttles sucked up everything.

    4) NASA has two silent budget competitors-the DoD (specifically the Air Force) and the fringes of both political parties. One fringe wants smaller government and private sector manned space flight. The other fringe wants to eliminate a program with nationalistic overtones and use that money for much needed social programs. (As well as stopping a potential 'Space Industrial Complex' frome evolving into reality)

    5) Wish the Chinese space program well. It will probably provide the political impetus to refund NASA (there's that mission thing again)... someday. Maybe. We'll see.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • NickB5 in Portland, OR


      July 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • NickB5 in Portland, OR

      "Space Industrial Complex" hahahahahahaha as if

      July 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Buzz

      Spot on mate. The probability is that the space program will be done by "skunkworks" if done at all. Unless the oil companies see a profit in it, it's dead. Osama bin L. did a job on us and is laughing from his cell (I'm not to sure he is dead).

      July 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  18. Harinder

    It is SAD to see such talented people being laid off.
    How ever dont worry a "MESSIAH " will come to take u to places
    Capt KIRK

    July 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • panzerman13


      "Boldenly going... nowhere."

      July 19, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  19. Govega

    Thanks to this vision of the current government, who canceled a perfectly good program before there was a replacmeent we now can rely on the Russians to transport our ISS astronauts back and forth to the station.

    Thanks to this government, my husband, an aerospace engineer working on the space shuttle program, and now, unemployed along with hundred of other talented people. There is no "RESTART BUTTON". It is all smoke and mirrors. Feed the poor, have midnight basketball, we are all stuck on this earth with each other, forever.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Buzz

      Yes, stuck here forever. Don't worry about feeding the Russian space program, congress probably will not fund further programs. Perhaps if China can get their program going, humanity has a small chance of getting off this rock.
      A suggestion for those no longer working for NASA, apply to the Chinese space program.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |

    More people getting laid off. That's just what this country needs smh!

    LIKE my page!!

    July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  21. Mike

    Hey Charlie, usually when I get "transitioned" someone will at least buy me dinner first.

    It's not just the 10 thousand KSC workers that will leave, it's the towns around the space center that are closing also. It's estimated that the total impact of the space center closure will reach some 23,000 in an area that's alread got >10% unemployment.

    But hey, you got your ride and a nice 6 figure salary and benies. I think your more concerned about helping your boss than you do about the workforce.

    I'm ashamed to think of you as a fellow Marine. Semper Politico...

    July 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  22. jowl

    Obama has no problem laying off thousands of high-tech workers at a stroke, then the next day promoting increases in the foreign skilled guest worker programs like H1B visa , lying that "not enough high-tech skilled workers are available" to fill jobs in the private sector. He better plan on retiring that lie if he's going to be laying off skilled workers en masse

    July 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • HZ

      The next time you want to score partisan political points, do your home work. The decision to end the space shuttle program was made under President Bush Jr and arguably should have been made around 1982 when people figured out that NASA was totally unable to keep their promises on per launch costs and turn around time. It's not President Obama's fault that NASA didn't adequately prepare for the end of the shuttle program over the last 30 years.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      It's the business owners/stakeholders that let employees go in order to hire foreign outsourced skill.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Buzz

      As I have posted above, apply to the Chinese space program. Quit whining and give it a try.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
      • Cscott4370

        Former NASA workers should be allowed to work for the Chinese. Especially if they have the cash and imagination that we lack to go any further with the space program.

        July 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  23. John

    Listen, the real problems started when a republican president sent hundreds of thousands of troops to a desert to protect an oil asset back in the early 90's. That's when the price of oil started going up. That's when our military spending started to skyrocket. That's when our debt began to get widely out of control. Then we invade Iraq and everything continues to escalate in costs. Then a democratic president continues the wars and bails out the banks who started the whole housing bubble in the first place and the car makers who were struggling simply because they make inferiror vehicles. And then stirrs up the middle-east and commits to a proxy war in Libya. The problem spans both with republicans and democrats. The problem is career politicians. That's the common denominator. It's as simple as that. It really is.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Buzz

      John, I agree! Now quit complaining and start doing something about it.
      You don't like a congress person because of their in big oil's pocket, get out and rally to get them out of office.
      Let the public know your thoughts anywhere you legally can. Tweet a bunch!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  24. SuffolkGuy

    With this massive injection of techies into the unemployed workforce, when will we acknowledge that in the future we will need fewer college graduates in tehse fields?

    July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • jowl

      because if anything we need more. well according to liberals anyways who want to flood the US with imported workers from India to fill our tech jobs.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
      • formerNASAworker

        It's not the liberals that are doing this, it's the business owners/stakeholders. They tell both republicans and democrats what to do in order to "earn" a check for their re-election chest.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      True, the market just isn't their for them, but then again, companies will want cheap labor. Ding the newly graduated/hired for not having years of experience and stress them to the point of breaking just to meet the bottom line. Congress and the American people will realize the need for trained/educated engineers and the like AFTER things fail.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  25. Jay

    Silicon Valley, really?!! Does Mr. Bolden have a clue what is actually done at KSC? Fail. And his quote that, "we're looking at going beyond the moon for the first time since the late 70's"? I believe Constellation had the same vision. Fail again. And the notion that NASA has a comprehensive and well thought out transition plan is laughable. Epic fail. I along with 1000's of very very dedicated and compentent coworkers will be shown the door with almost nothing in the way of transition assistance. I am fortunate to have found a new job, but I am certainly the exception, and not the norm. NASA is not and should never be a jobs program, but losing the collective knowledge of so many individuals and teams is tragic.
    Obama/Bolden's space plan can best be described as fire, aim, ready (comprende General Bolden?). I hope that the private space industry can pick up where we left off, but it only takes one accident to end private companies participation, just as it did with the airline companies who had considered privitizing the space shuttle prior to the Challenger disaster. I still hope to see a man step foot on Mars in my lifetime, but the odds are now it will not be an American that does makes it there first.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • disgusted space worker

      Bolden is a twit.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • HZ

      I hear they really needed a lot more money to do it right but politicians are willing to send hundreds of billions to wall street bankers without thinking about it much but severely limit what NASA gets.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • Buzz

        Finally, someone that sees things the way I do. I was really toasted to see Wall Street get the bailouts. But it is done and we have to live with it. Perhaps next time the brokers find themselves in trouble, we will not have the money to bail them out.

        July 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  26. Ed Hobble

    All you KSA workers need to stop whinning. You knew this was comming. Besides all NASA is now is another bloated government agency that accomplishes very little. Stop whinning about how little your budget is compared to other goverment agencys. Thats not the point. The point is you waste what little your budget is.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Fellows

      Just cause your job sucks and you'll never enjoy anything you do doesn't mean you need to hate on NASA workers.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • formerNASAworker

        The absolute best job I ever had in all of my career was at the KSC. I loved it there, but maintaining continuous employment and providing for my family trumps my personal job satisfaction. Once I caught wind of cutbacks, I bailed and, looking back, I'm glad I did. Misery likes company, but you really have only yourself to blame.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • NickB5 in Portland, OR

      No the point is the Pentagon wastes hourly what NASA gets to spend in a year. You want to whine about waste then look to the big ticket items like DEFENSE, SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICAID, WELFARE & UNEMPLOYMENT. That's where all the big money go's. Holding NASA's Budget as an example of waste is dishonest.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • neverpar

      All you KSA workers need to stop whinning.
      Just WTH is a KSA worker??

      July 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
      • panzerman13

        Koran Space Agency?

        July 19, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  27. NOBAMA 2012


    July 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Aeromechanic.

      Nope, you still haven't got it. There is a space program being worked on right now. It's called ARES. Read about it here:

      July 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • NOBAMA 2012


        July 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
      • Fellows

        Ares is what got canceled. I think you're a liitle off on your current events.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Aeromechanic.

      Sorry, I posted the wrong link. It keeps defaulting to some Constellation page.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • panzerman13

        You mean "Cancellation"?

        July 19, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Aeromechanic.

      Here is something. NASA hasn't got their site up to date so all I could get was a wiki page.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
      • NOBAMA 2012


        July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • tffl

      Hey, NOBAMA 2012 – if you can't figure out where your caps lock key is, I don't think you're really suited to work on the space program anyway. Beyond that, Constellation was a disaster, nothing but escalating costs and extending timelines. I assume Jupiter (DIRECT) was rejected because lobbyists pushed for a "new" approach so the various cost+ contractors would make more. The SLS is much more Jupiter-like (more direct re-use of shuttle technology rather than redesign) and has a better chance of being successful. But I guess you don't want reality to intrude on your fantasy world...

      July 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  28. Walter

    Every government program has their advocates. Over the next few years, I suspect many of them will be downsized or eliminated. Yes, we will lose something in every program that is eliminated; however, we are trillions in debt and need to rein in the purse strings across the board.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • NickB5 in Portland, OR

      NASA's Budget is 17.8 Billion, that's not even a drop in the bucket, that wouldn't even warrant a sliver on a pie chart. NASA is only marginally ahead of AMTRAK when comparing yearly budgets. You want to reign in spending then you need to look at the big ticket items like Defense, Social Security, Medicaid, Welfare & Unemployment, Interest on National Debt. That's where the real money is being spent.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Buzz

      Yo Walter,, Nasa has company, there are to be about 30,000 troops returning from the middle east. At least the space program has other employers, but the foot solder will find it really difficult. Even China wont hire them.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
      • Poppy

        Why would I want to hire some PTSD patient that is likely to have mulitple issues ranging from substance abuse to anger managment issues. The troops have done a great job over there but I wouldnt want to leave one alone with my children.

        July 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  29. cash

    Everyone wants to blame Bush; while Bush did state 2010 as the end for flying shuttle, he at least put forth the vision for space exploration, which no longer exists, courtesy of Obama. Neither Dems or Republicans have a clue as to what NASA is/was about. I worked on shuttle for the last 7 years. I am an aerospace engineer, and without work. Finding a new job is not that easy. There are many more individuals with more years experience than myself, and we are all fighting for the few jobs that exist in the aerospace industry. Truth is the politicians from both sides will say whatever they can to get into office. None are thinking about the true well-being of their constituents. The president included!

    July 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Aeromechanic.

      Again, another person who doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground. Obama has not killed off space exploration. Did you read the freaking article. There will be a launch of the next generation vehicle in 2016. That is still sooner than Constellation would have been readied. Do you know why? Because Obama and congress have mandate dthe use of existing technology and hardware. It will cheaper AND ready sooner.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Mike in NYC

        Wanna bet???? lol

        July 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • Fellows

        Um...did Obama or Bolden tell you that? Did that 2016 date mention anything about the moon, Mars, asteroid, La Grange point or whatever? That's because that date is when they hope that private space will ferry people to the space station (not to be confused with a vehicle capable of creating a space station like shuttle). So the space future, as far as any politician will hope to guess only has a plan to recreate a 50 year old Russian like astronaut ferry system within 5 more years. Not much of a plan if you ask me. Bush's idea was to walk on the Moon again in 9 more years.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      Geez, there are universities that dropped Aerospace Engineering from their curriculum because there just wasn't the need. Is that Obama's fault too?.?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • SuffolkGuy

        Aerospace Engineering was the second largest major at my NY college in the 1960s. In 1994 the department was shut down.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Jess

      Everyone blames every President and in reality, it's systemic. Not one man, woman, administration or Congressional body can take full blame for where we are today.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Wolivere

      Aerospace in the non defense field in North America, is dead has been dead for a long time in the Public sector. If you want to do aerospace work, in the public sector you need to move to France China or India.

      With the horrific financial bungling of the past 30 years the money and will to spend money on Public Sector Projects does not exist.

      Personally although I love the Shuttle, to me it seams its been the Shuttle that really killed the Public sector space exploration.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  30. Writer

    re: >>> They may be able to do anything but most won’t doing what love, very much longer.

    What the !@#$% does this sentence mean? Where did this writer go to school? This is just one example of indecipherable grammar in this article. WTF?

    July 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  31. Riverroad

    Another government cost overrun. Save James Webb?? Cost went from $2,000,000,000.00 to $7,000,000,000.00 and this is a good deal? This is today's estimate, For what? What is a telescope going to tell us that we can't live without? This is why the United States owes over $14,000,000,000,000,00. Wake up people, there are a lot of things that would be nice but we can't afford everything nice that someone has their hand out for.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Sean

      Actually it’s the so called entitlements that are killing us. Even the Pentagon budget doesn’t compare to Medicaid.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
      • NickB5 in Portland, OR

        Only Social Security rivals Defense in size of budget. Medicaid would come in somewhere after those two behemoths.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Buzz

        Look up the pie chart for Treasury income, SS and medicare account for 40%, where as the Pentagon is totally an expense. Why is this? If the military has no income, perhaps we could do away with them! Congress just doesn't have their priorities correct.

        July 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Andrew

      You are woefully ignorant if you truly believe what you are saying. 7 billion dollars? That is barely a scratch on the surface of our national debt, and it will payout dividends in acquisition of knowledge of our universe. Where did we come from? What is our place in the universe? Questions like these are answered by taking a leap and investing in the sciences, in this case space exploration. Do you want to recapture the era of positivity and optimism? We need to give ourselves a goal that is truly great. We need to get to Mars and challenge ourselves like we were challenged by Kennedy. We need to strive to explore space and spread out in space, otherwise we are doomed to become extinct as a species when a planet wide calamity hits, and it will happen eventually.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  32. jane

    They are joing the millions of others layed off. Ashamed I can relate. My military reserve job and unit was eliminated thus I am out of the service. Because of my civilian job I can't collect unemployment. Could be worse.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Mike G

      Why would you want unemployment when you have a civilian job?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
      • Fellows

        Cause he had two jobs but now he only has 1

        July 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  33. NickB5 in Portland, OR

    Charlie Bolden is a yes man, a bureaucrat and a sell out. He should be publicly railing against Congress and The President for what they've done to our space program not sweeping all these highly skilled Engineers and Astronauts under the rug with some feel good baloney about a "rigorous transition program" which really means transitioning from Astronauts and Engineers to tour guides and gift shop clerks, what a joke. I have nothing but contempt for this man and our government on this issue.

    Here's Some interesting comparisons with regards to NASA's budget:

    The federal government spends over 30 times as much money on Social Security as it does on NASA.
    By comparison NASA's budget isn't even a tenth of what the federal government spends on defense.
    Americans spent over 19 times as much at restaurants in 1997 as the federal government spent on NASA that year.
    NASA's budget represents approximately 0.2% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Fellows

      To add: space shuttle cost the average tax payer about 7 cents a day. All of NASA cost 14 cents a day.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Aeromechanic.

      What have the President and congress done to our space program? Every program has a lifespan, the shuttles were out of time.

      The shuttles are old, the cost to maintain and refurbish them after a flight is astronomical(no pun intended)they have significant issues and frankly aren't safe. President Clinton missed the boat. During his administration was the time to have plans underway for the next generation vehicle.

      Since you apparently just want to bash President Obama, I'll let you in on something. The shuttle program was cancelled by President Bush. The end of the program was supposed to be last year but Obama extended it and added 2 additional launches. So go ahead and thank him for that.

      The vehicle that was intended to replace the shuttle was over budget and well behind. President Obama had the fortitude to listen to a growing number of engineers within NASA and some prime contractors who said that we have current technology that we can use and update for a new program instead of starting from scratch. That is why under the continuing resolution approved by congress that NASA was mandated to use any all existing shuttle technology and hardware whenever posssible.

      I work for the company that manufacturers the auxillary power unts for the boosters. Those units will be employed on the next vehicle because the current plan calls for the same boosters to be used. In addition we are designing numerous systems for the Orion crew module. All of these things will be cheaper because existing technology is being utilized.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • Fellows

        Obama cancelled shuttle. I don't care how you spin it. Oh, wait, he gave me two more flights? That's like cutting my arm off, then giving me a band aid. Thanks Mr. President, but come 2012 hopefully you'll see you're own layoff. Aeromechanic, I'm not sure what booster APU's your working on, but since there has been no confirmation of the next vehicle (like one would normally do before cancelling a current space vehicle), I wouldn't praise Obama just yet. Chances are you're headed for the same unemployment line as your shuttle counter parts.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      So, you'd have him be insubordinate to his superiors? You'd have him retain employees without funding to pay them?
      Here is a small hint for you, NASA is subordinate to the congress and the president. That means that the SUPERIORS give orders, NASA follows those orders.
      Congress has been emasculating NASA for decades. Even now, the Webb telescope is being cut out specifically by congress. NASA has no choice but to follow those orders.
      Don't like it? Raise cain with your congressional representatives. And remember their actions on election day.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Mr. Jones

      The TSA's budget is bigger than NASA's, and their sole purpose is to provide an illusion of security.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  34. Mr. Jones

    “I’d like to talk to people from Silicon Valley to get them to come here”, Bolden said.

    That's a dumb satement. Mis-match of skill sets. A better fit for the KSC workforce would be airplane or heavy equipment manufacturing.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Fellows

      Thank you. I doubt Apple and Google has much need for a thermal tile technician or a hypergol engineer. Just more proof Bolden really is out of touch with is own job.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      Agreed. Saying "I'd like . . . " isn't "I am/will . . .", but he's a political hack. He'll say nothing while saying something.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • netndx

      “We have spent six, seven years developing and conducting a very, very well thought out very rigorous transition program"

      Was talking to the "people in Silicon Valley" come to mind during the development of the transition program?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  35. Fellows

    Transitioning? Is that what you're calling my lack of a job working in the space program? Transitioning into unemployment isn't exactly what I had in mind. I had a job to transition to with Constellation, but you killed that by being a "yes man" for your ignorant president. You'll forever be known as the worst Nasa Administrator ever. Thanks for dumping my job in the middle of record unemployment and while my house is worth half what I paid for it. You'll be long dead of old age before anyone sees a manned trip to the moon or Mars. I'm not sure what you hope to inspire by your "Muslim Outreach" program, but just remember everybody will always affiliate you and your stupid president for being the ones who gutted NASA.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      This has been a long time coming. The writing was on the wall. Should have bailed sooner.

      I worked at the Kennedy Space Center and heard the "I'm not saying you're losing your job, but you may want to get your resume ready" speech and bailed years ago.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • Aeromechanic.

        Exactly!. The next generation vehicle was never going to be a reusable one. Most of the employees at KSC were from USA(United Space Alliance). They were there to refurb and ready the shuttle sfor relaunch. With ATK, formerly Morton Thykol, being selected as the contractor for Constellation, all USA employees would be looking for work.

        July 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • Aeromechanic.

        I should add this: With Constellation being killed off, it hasn't effected anyones job. They were going to lose their jobs anyway and USA would probably be going out of business.

        July 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Alex

        It has affected jobs! Those working under the Constellation program were laid off. Jobs would have opened up once Ares I and Ares 5 started ramping up and bring in people from the shuttle program for this. So don't tell me jobs weren't affected.

        July 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  36. NASA Employee

    It already has ended

    July 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Salvatore Trentacoste

      Nasa Employee are you talking the James Webb?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  37. Mr. Jones

    If Congress really wanted to save money, they'd start by dismantling the TSA, which is a total waste of taxpayer money. Next, let's go find the $16 billion of missing CASH from Iraq re-construction funds. Finally, let's get our troops home, that's costing us $17million an hour. Penny-pinching on the next space telescope is STUPID.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • NickB5 in Portland, OR

      That $17 Billion for one hour of our troops over seas would cover NASA's entire yearly budget.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      TSA is a feel good for congressmen like so many others. They can say they're trying to protect their fellow citizens while stripping them of their constitutional freedoms in the name of safety. It won't go away.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  38. jeff

    TO HOCOMD My facts are straight. George W ended the shuttle program .

    July 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Fellows

      Bush left office in 08, Obama was in office in 2011. Shuttle ends in 2011. Therefore Obama killed shuttle. Pretty simple.
      If not then he's just a chump following orders from a previous president which makes him even weaker. I can't wait till anybody else becomes president.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • Aeromechanic.

        You're wrong. Bush ended the shuttle program. Simple as that, get yor facts straight.

        July 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • Aeromechanic.

        You said you work for NASA? I think you are lying. If you really did you would know that Constellation was WAY over budget and WAY behind.

        Being that that is the case, how did you expect to have a job when the shuttles ended? DId you guys do any training for Constellation? I didn't think so since my company was still working with the primes on hardware.

        July 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
      • floydgg

        A little weak on logic there.

        July 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Aeromechanic.

        I'm sorry, but idiotic statements like your's fellows really upset me. Your whinning about losing your job and trying to lay the blame on President Obama is like a United Space Alliance representative we had here complaining about his job going away. His job was to oversee refurbishment activity on shuttle hardware. He was upset that Constellation was killed off and said that his job was lost because of it. The guy wasn't smart enough to know that Constellation was a ATK owned program and that United Space Alliance has nothing to do with it. IOWs even if Constellation would have survived he would have been out of work. ATK would have brought their own people in to do launch preps and other needed work.

        July 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • Greenpe32141

        A little misinformed there, ain't ya?

        The space shuttle program was killed in 2004's "Vision for Space Exploration," passed by Congress & signed by then-President George W. Bush. It called for the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011 (2 launches earlier than the actual have the current Congress & President Obama to thank for the 2 extra launches).

        No, President Obama & the Congress aren't just "following orders from a previous President." When he signed the "Vision for Space Exploration" in 2004, Bush signaled to the space shuttle program contractors that, "Hey, your days are numbered." Many of the suppliers were small, specialty "Mom-n-Pop" shops that, once they fulfilled their final orders to NASA -often years in advance of the shuttles' retirement- just closed up shop & went out of business or completely retooled to make something else. The ability to make many of the small replacement parts for the shuttles is lost forever now, and was lost before President Obama took office. The "Vision for Space Exploration" had already been policy for 4 years before Obama was even elected...THAT'S what killed the shuttle program. This isn't about defending one President & throwing another one under the's about factual information; your post lacked any.

        July 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  39. Kevin

    Holy cow, there are a lot of grammatical and spelling errors in this article! Get it together, CNN. Sheesh.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  40. Nighthhaawk

    I want to know what happens to the space station that cost so many millions to build, if a very large pump or module
    breaks down? It took a long time to ready a shuttle for replacement parts, by the time NASA gets a rocket ready, the station could be lost.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Its simple Nighthhaawk – WE won't be servicing the ISS. At least not to the extent that transporation will be needed. Taking people to and from space is now the exclusive domain of Russia. I'm sure that JFK is rolling over in his grave!!!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Jessica

      They have tons of spare parts up there to fix problems and other space ships do go there. The last few shuttle flights were to stock up the space station.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  41. WarMachine99

    As much as we need a continued presence in the ISS and space, it's very embarrasing and hard to justify keeping one or two shuttles operational until the replacement is complete when on the other hand you have a massive cost overrun and project overshoot with Webb.

    Then again, the required funding is less than that of the incursions in Irak / Afghanistan and financial support to other countries.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  42. jeff

    Just remember folks, it was George W that put an end to the shuttle program .

    July 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Salvatore Trentacoste

      Yes you are correct.BUT as President he could have stoped that.Instead he fell for all the Washington BULL and let it continue.Now when they have the shuttle working as a well oiled machine,for wich it was intended

      July 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • HoCoMD

      It's always George W's fault isn't it? That is the lamest argument I have ever heard. George W began the drawdown of the shuttle program because the Constellation programs were ramping up. However, your buddy, Obama, canceled and severely crippled those programs. Get your facts straight, pal! I was at the Space Coast doing a Job Fair and let me tell you, Obama is not welcome there.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Dubya canceled the Space Shuttle and sold the idea by saying we need the money from the space shuttle program to go back to the moon. And then cut NASA's budget because it wasn't going to be running the shuttle program much loner.

      What is ignored and forgotten is the shuttle can carry very heavy school bus sized cargo loads, something that was impractical for any of the vehicles designed before it. Outside of supporting the space station, lessons learned were to be applied towards building a large reusable space vehicle in orbit, something that'd be impractical to built and launch from earth. It was to have the capability to fly many months on long missions to the moon with the intent of starting a moon base and then on to Mars. This space vehicle was to return to earth and park in low earth orbit for resupply and refitting. When did this vision get lost?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Fellows

      Bush wanted to end the shuttle back when we had 3.5% unemployment and replace it with a bigger better moon program. Obama could have extended shuttle, expedite the moon program, or both, but in the end decided neither. Now there is no shuttle or moon program. The "asteroid/Mars" program is scheduled to halfway into this century and is the political equivalent of kicking a can down the road. Anyone blaming Bush for shuttle is just another liberal defending Obama for the sake of defending their terrible choice as president. Obama either acted alone or carried out Bush's orders. He'll forever be known as the president who killed manned space program and always will be no matter how you spin it.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  43. Salvatore Trentacoste

    Hear is a big heads up for NASA and the Director. The US Space program is DOA once the shuttle lands this week. Thanks to Nasa Budget difficulties (over spending on promised costs) Orion 9 billion dollars of wasted tax payer money. Project canceled by congress. The James Webb 7 billion dollars of potential wasted tax payer money (if congress gets its way) if there is no PORK they usually do! The congress for cutting funding in the first place saying NASA waste money for the programs but if I recall on senator from the upper mid west had a highway redesigned to accommodate thousands of care where abut 100 a day used that stretch ( More tax payer wasted Money)Yet these same people that(Please cough here) run this country and spend our taxpayer money gives over a trillion dollars away to foreign governments that love us for the free money but drop us like a HOT Potato when we call on them for help. Then there the President and his advisors. They studied the space program and decided that it was a waste to continue to fly the shuttle. This in light of the USA not able to send our astronauts to the space station with out getting there from with in the USA. Well as far as I am concerned they all FAIL BIG TIME.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  44. DarkStar_WNY

    If the Webb is now projected to cost 7 billion and take at least four more years you can be sure it will likely cost double that at take six or more years to get ready, but of course as the rocket to carry it isn't ready yet there's no big hurry.

    I can't believe any president would create a policy where we are reliant on Russia for manned space flight and access to the space station.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Thank you George W Bush for tanking the economy and tanking the space program. You have succeeded where Osama bin Laden failed.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • Buzz

        @Buck: Osama Bin Lauden didn't fail! We did and are going broke!

        July 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  45. Thor

    It's all in the Iceway!

    July 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  46. Chris

    A lot of NASA talent is going to jump ship and head overseas to nations with burgeoning space programs (ahem, China). They have a very specialized skill set and aren't going to be of much use in other industries other than aerospace. So we'll have the modern version of the 1940s exodus of rocket scientists from Germany to the US and USSR.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • netndx

      agree. Is this part of a grand bargain that Obama has made?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Dave


      I really wonder about that... I worked at JSC on the STA. Not an ASE, but was a software engineer that rewrote some of the STA code. I found a job easy, like many of us that are no longer there. The majority were not ASEs, The only ones that will have a harder time are the ASEs. But then again, how many are not software engineers with an ASE background?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Dave

      I guess my main point was... Out of all the jobs, how many are true rocket scientists / ASEs ?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • formerNASAworker

      I'd have to disagree. The Chinese do not take kindly to foreigners and would take greater pride in showing us up without any assistance. The thing is, the writing on the wall has been there for years.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
      • Buzz

        Are you sure of that?

        July 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  47. Josh

    The problem is directly with Congress. A bunch of very fickle minded people who are lucky to reach a goal of making to the Capital Building without changing their minds.

    Just go to the Air and Space Museum, located within walking distance of the Capital Building. Inside, you will find a _REAL_ Lunar Module. The _real_ Voyager 3. The _real_ Skylab 2. Etc. Not mock ups nor test vehicles, but the _REAL_ ready-for-space vehicles. Congress spent our Tax Money to build them, then changed their minds when it came to fly them.

    What a waste of our tax dollars. Not that NASA and space travel is a waste, but building these magnificent machines, and then not using them, is the waste.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  48. BombardierBob

    Hey this is a bunch of bull... Take a drive in Titusville, FL that lies across the Indian River, Kennedy Space Center. That town was the home for most of the workers at the KSC since the start of Space Program and like NASA's space budget has dried up and is almost dead. The Bull this idiot in charge of NASA saying it is not the end is a sick joke at best. Around the cape is turning into ghost towns and business is or have left. Obama has killed the space program and doing a good job to the rest of the country.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  49. dmcelhoe

    I've heard the line about going back to the Moon and Mars for the past dozen or more years. Administrations since Nixon including the current one aren't really interested in seeing the U.S. maintain a pre-eminent presence in space, nor are they really interested in manned exploration which during Apollo resulted in so many technological advancements for humankind. Why else would we need to pay Russia for seats on their spacecraft so we could return to the space station. I'm sorry but Mr. Bolden's only towing the administration's line. It's too bad that our nation's leaders are so short-sighted they don't understand the potential benefits economic and otherwise that could result from continued manned exploration.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  50. KLS

    If I get to the White House, the asteroid project is scrapped. The Mars probe hurled into the surface to burrow for rocks crashed on impact. For every action there is an equal yet opposite reaction. Hurled objects do not burrow. Hurled objects do not rebound off moving asteroids. What we will do is hold a grant funded nationwide search of pre and current engineering students for a new space shuttle design on mylar. Those drawings will tour natural history museums as a NASA fundraiser. Some can even be auctioned as property of NASA. Top three winners get cash award and naming rights on the prototypes, and teamwork is encouraged.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  51. visionaudio

    What a travesty. Charlie Bolden once again glad handing and lying bold face to the public. Constellation was close enough to be flying in 2015 and the president scrapped it. Now NASA has nothing but bus rides on Russian rockets and faint hope that a private company will save it from being totally defunded. NASA staff and contractors are in shock at every center. Not a good time to be an aerospace engineer.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Liz

      True that. I worked on Constellation. Now I can't find a freaking job with a Master's Degree!

      July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • Everyman

        I'm sure you get the usual HR line: You are over qualified.

        July 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
      • Po' Boy

        The Republicans Congress said that you folks at NASA can apply at Wendy's or the Golden Arches people. Apply yourselves and become a shift manager.

        July 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Josh

      Constellation was a joke. And a ridiculous compromise. One cannot design a single space craft for both LEO (to/from the ISS) and to go to Mars.

      Constellation was back to ocean splash downs. What a step backward.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • WarMachine99

        Constellation's replacement is a joke as well – it's a rehash of the Orion capsule, for less people than before.

        July 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  52. Jake

    Did anyone proofread this article before it was posted? It's full of typos and missing words!

    July 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Dave

      who cares? You can't figure it out?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  53. DL

    Sad to see him still spin things to cover his boss Obama. They both have no respect among the workforce.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Gracko

      Oh yeah, and we know how much respect the GOP has earned among working stiffs.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Hiram

      Spinning the sad state of NASA into what appears to be a rosey future is all I've ever seen Bolden do since he became the top guy. He is just a PR guy who will say whatever the current administration tells him to say in order to keep his job. If he had any backbone or self respect he would have protested loudly and then resigned when Obama gutted the manned spaceflight program.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  54. netndx

    you are kidding me. I see documentary after documentary talking about all that is there for us on the Moon and we are jettisoning that goal?

    did Obama make a back room deal with Russia and the China to back off from the moon? Seems to me that our closest celestial neighbor deserves a plan!

    What happens when the low-rent Russia space transport service has a problem? Can we get some help here russia? NYET!

    July 18, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Fritz

      I agree, we should return to the moon as soon as possible. It's there so why not use it?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  55. Deep North

    So what do 2000 people do for work during the transition period from 2011 to 2016!

    July 18, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Pete

      Get a book deal to write a glossy-covered $29.99 book reminiscing about having worked in the Space Shuttle program at NASA for ~150-200 pages, if they're lucky.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • joeNYC

      Most of them are getting laid off. It's that simple.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Cscott4370

      You'll find them at the local Publix. Paper or plastic?

      July 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm |


  • Elizabeth Landau
  • Sophia Dengo
    Senior Designer