Endorsements for NASA administrator

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) has publicly endorsed retired Air Force general Pete Worden for the position of NASA administrator. Worden, who retired from the Air Force early this year, worked for Brownback until a few weeks ago as a Congressional fellow. “General Worden is a creative thinker who can cut through the stifling bureaucracy in the current space program,” Brownback said in the release. “He can lead NASA and our country’s space program boldly into the future.” Brownback’s backing of Worden has been rumored since early this week, but this is the boldest endorsement of Worden, or any other potential candidate, to date.

Sean O’Keefe has remained noncommittal about any potential choice, Worden included, as his replacement. The Houston Chronicle reported Friday that “when told Thursday that Pete Worden was emerging as a front-runner, he said whatever decision the president makes will be the right one.”

9 comments to Endorsements for NASA administrator

  • Mark

    Cool indeed:

    It looks like he’s all for pushing the cheap, private sector development of space capabilities and even hints that Martian settlement is a valid goal.

  • If you read the pdf referred to in the last post, Gen. Worden advocates lunar and Mars comsats, surveying missions, lunar DoD research, and foresees private sector space doing one-way colonization trips to Mars. This is one way cool dude!

  • Bill White

    I saw Worden talk at SpaceVision 2004 and was very impressed, for the exact reasons Sam Dinkin mentions.

    But wait, I have said that elsewhere already. ;-)

    That said, his “three stooges” comments won’t help his chances. True, but perhaps not helpful. ;-/

  • Mark

    What was the “3 stooges” comment?

  • Toro

    On D-Day, the allies did not take Paris, or Berlin, but instead simply secured a foothold. NASA has yet to secure a foothold at low Earth orbit. Are there no military folks at NASA who understand strategy? Forget the moon, forget Mars. Secure the LEO foothold, as the shuttle failed to do, by simply developing a human transport to and fro at controlled cost and high safety margin. Then go from there. Since rockets fail occasionally, incorporate the Apollo 13 unlearned lesson and actually have a survival, escape and rescue system that is nearly independent, tested before the fact. Failure is an option in an open minded culture.

  • Dogsbd

    >>>by simply developing a human transport to and fro at controlled cost and high safety margin


  • Brent

    The “three stooges” comment was what Gen Worden called the big aerospace firms. Personally, I like his “Department of Defense design bureau” description of them better.

    I have been a fan of Worden for as long as I’ve known about him. I was deeply disappointed to hear of his retirement from the USAF. He was without question the best space thinker in uniform. However, his career has been built on beating NASA at its own game. He got the DOD to build the delta clipper. His DOD mission Clementine found the first indications of water ice on the moon.

    General Worden would have been best leading a future military space force that focused on space research and exploration as well as military exploitation, the way space should have been done in the US from the very beginning. See his book “Whither Space Power?” from Air University Press if you’re interested about what he thinks. In my opinion, the best book on the future of space written by a military member.

    I’m weary of him being NASA Administrator though. He would try to completely remake the agency in a way that makes O’Keefe’s tenure seem like a walk in the park. Worden’s NASA would be the agency America deserves. I don’t know if he is powerful enough to do it.

  • Brent

    BTW, if anyone is interested in a copy of Worden’s book, I have a few copies left from a valiant but unfruitful attempt to start a space power theory reading group at an Air Force base. Visionless pilot wannabees!

    Just email me if interested (click on the name, right?)