That’s part of a quote from a member of Congress who met with NASA administrator Charles Bolden Wednesday and came away with that sense of uncertainty about the future of NASA’s human spaceflight program. “I left the meeting unconvinced that there is a guiding vision for the future of manned spaceflight in the United States,” Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) told the Orlando Sentinel. “I don’t mean to imply that he [Bolden] is being evasive; I just don’t think he knows.” That uncertainty, though, isn’t necessarily surprising: the administration is likely still evaluating options, and while Bolden can make suggestions and recommendations, the decision presumably isn’t his to make.
The report also claims that Bolden, perhaps stung by the pushback against the Augustine committee options from members of Congress last week, is considering one alternative to keep Ares 1 as a “technology demonstrator” to support later development of the larger Ares 5. How exactly that would work—including what alternative launch options would be developed and how much such a scenario would cost—aren’t specified, although one unnamed NASA official attending the meeting said it was based on the “fantasy” that the agency would get a $3-billion-a-year increase.