At a time when space shuttle missions are a thing of the past, many people wonder just what NASA will do within the constraints of a tight budget now before Congress.
The future is exciting and bright, according to NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, who visited the staff of Glenn Research Center recently. "We have a balanced portfolio," says Bolden. "There is continued funding for priorities that will advance science on earth and in space. But we must deliver our projects on-time and on-cost." NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden visited Glenn employees to outline upcoming priorities for the agency. Image Credit: NASA
Bolden outlined three main priorities for the agency over the next few years.
The James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble, is slated to launch in 2018 and will be a giant leap forward in our quest to understand the universe and our origins.
To ensure a future in space exploration, NASA will continue to work on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle that will be used for eventual missions to deep space including Mars in the mid 2030s. Partnerships with American manufacturers to build launch and crew vehicles is a top priority at NASA.
And NASA remains committed to its work on the International Space Station. "This is the cornerstone activity of NASA," says Bolden. "We have been living and working in space for six months at a time for over 11 years with an international crew and it's been extremely successful. This is the place where we learn about human health, life support systems and more."
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the flight of Friendship 7, Bolden reminded the audience that astronaut John Glenn remains passionate about the future of NASA in terms of exploration and the utilization of science. "NASA will continue to do the work of scientific discovery with the goal of making life better here on earth," he concluded.
Nancy Smith Kilkenny, SGT Inc.
NASA's Glenn Research Center