Is NASA administration Charles Bolden being pushed aside by the White House? That’s the claim of a Houston Chronicle article Saturday, cobbling together various events, ranging from controversy about his China trip to his now-infamous al-Jazeera interview, suggesting that the administration is considering replacing Bolden. (The article also claims that the administration slighted Bolden by not holding a “high-profile White House signing ceremony” for the NASA authorization bill, but such ceremonies are the exception rather than the rule for legislation in general.) The article doesn’t ask whether Bolden’s recent globetrotting “well beyond the limelight” was at the instigation of a White House wanting to push him aside, or of his own volition.
In separate interviews in the Daytona Beach News-Journal today, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) and her Republican challenger, Sandy Adams, discuss topics including space policy. Kosmas reviews the provisions of the NASA authorization bill in her interview, noting that “NASA and protecting the Space Coast and the space exploration program is a very high priority for me.” In her interview Adams discusses general support of spaceflight, including human missions to Mars as part of a “long-term vision for NASA” and the need to not rely on other nations for access to the ISS. Her language is vague in places, though: when she says “I think it’s a vital part of our national security” it’s not clear if she’s referring to human spaceflight, which she mentioned immediately preceding that comment, or spaceflight in general.
Should Republicans take control of the House in November’s elections, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) would be in position to chair the House Science and Technology Committee, on which he is currently the ranking member. However, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Hall is also a candidate to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has been that committee’s top Republican for six years, a limit under current party rules. Hall, though, indicates he’d prefer to run the science committee in a GOP-led House, saying of chairing the energy committee: “I probably ought to make a run for it but I’m not going to.” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is widely rumored to also be interested in chairing the science committee if the GOP wins the House next month.