Bolden Asks MAF Workers for Ideas
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden praised a crowd of 600 workers Aug. 20 on the floor of the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) and thanked them for their dedication and hard work over the years building the Space Shuttle's External Tank. Before touring the facility, Bolden held a general assembly along with his deputy, Lori Garver, and took 30 minutes of questions from workers.
"I thank you for your loyalty and resilience and thank your family for sticking with the space program," said Bolden.
Bolden said MAF has a future in NASA's plans. "The states of Mississippi and Louisiana are looking for ideas to keep their facilities open," said Bolden referring to Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis and MAF in eastern New Orleans. He added that no one wants to be out of work so he urged them to think out of the box.
"We need you to think about things we can do here to promote exploration, look around you – the facility here is incredible," said Bolden.
Bolden's big push will be to reach future generations to explore and get excited in space. He said we can all make a difference and take ownership in NASA by promoting space exploration in our children's schools and communities.
"I'm a blue sky kind of person – one of the things I plan on doing is spending time talking to Congress and explaining NASA's plan for the future," Bolden said. He added that the International Space Station is vital but NASA needs to further utilize its congressional base for a long term vision – which is exploring beyond low earth orbit.
Bolden wrapped up the 45 minute session by urging MAF workers to be a part of the solution and NASA's future. "Find a way to utilize your talents and keep an eye on where we want to go."
For more information on the Michoud Assembly Facility, go to http://maf.msfc.nasa.gov