Bolden To Meet with Obama To Discuss NASA’s Future

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WASHINGTON NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama Dec. 16 to discuss options for the future of manned spaceflight activities and investments, according to the president’s daily schedule released by the White House.

The meeting is slated to occur at 3:05 p.m. today in the Oval Office.

Bolden and senior administration officials have spent the past several months mulling the findings of a blue-ribbon panel that found the agency’s Constellation program, a five-year-old effort to replace the space shuttle with rockets and spacecraft optimized for the Moon, is incompatible with NASA’s budget.

The panel, lead by former Lockheed Martin chief executive Norm Augustine, issued an Oct. 22 report that proposed, among other options, scaling back or canceling elements of Constellation, including the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and its Ares 1 rocket. In addition, the report urged the administration to consider adding as much as $3 billion to NASA’s $18.7 billion annual budget to adequately fund space exploration beyond low Earth orbit and relying on commercial ventures to transport cargo and astronauts to the international space station.