Short List Candidate Backs Return to Moon Quickly

NASA launches its fifth and final trip to the Hubble Telescope. It happens on the heels of the announcement by the White House that it will convene an independent panel to review the space agency's plans for human space flight. One former astronaut, who is said to be a front runner on President Barack Obama's list to head the space agency, thinks we should have returned to the moon already. Pat Hernandez has more.

Atlantis is on a one billion dollar mission to keep the 19-year old space telescope running for another ten years. Back on earth, the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee will deliver its recommendation to the president before August. That's when the
administration is expected to announce a decision on how to proceed on human spaceflight.

image of astronaut Charles Bolden Former astronaut Charles Bolden is said to be on the short list for appointment by President Obama to head NASA. He says while he is happy with the direction of the space agency, he's not happy with the pace of returning to the moon. Bolden says if you conducted a poll in Houston, you'd probably seen an overwhelming outcry of support for human exploration and the space program in general.

"I don't know what you would get, if you went around the country, because there are so many other things that are tugging for people's attention and people's priority. Everybody says they want to go to space, but when you ask them to sit down and prioritize, if it doesn't end up being number one or number two, it's going to be difficult to do that."

Bolden says it's an honor to be considered a front runner to head the space agency, but he doesn't have a problem with things being run
by an interim team.

"They want direction. So, if you say something's adrift, what they want to know is OK, does the congress and the administration the direction in which we're headed? And, I don't think either congress or the administration to date has said OK, we're gonna press this way."

Pat Hernandez, KUHF Houston Public Radio News. 

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...