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NASA Outreach Program 'Confirmed' Despite White House Denial, Rep Says
Call it a failure to launch.
The White House is disavowing a plan to have NASA conduct outreach to Muslim countries, but a congressman who talked to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden about that plan last month said the initiative was very real until somebody slammed the brakes on it.
Rep. Pete Olson, ranking Republican on the Space and Aeronautics House Subcommittee, told FoxNews.com that Bolden described the outreach program as part of the administration's space plan during a conversation they had in June.
"He confirmed it to me," Olson said. The Texas Republican said he thinks the program existed until the "uproar" compelled the administration to rethink it.
Though Bolden mentioned the outreach months ago during a speech in February, it drew widespread attention after he described it as a "foremost" priority during an interview with Al Jazeera last month. The administration initially stood by the claim, but White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that Bolden misspoke and that the outreach is "not the task of NASA."
John Bolton, former
For instance, a
"That's appalling but that's basically where it is,"
He agreed with Olson that the outreach program was probably a bona fide initiative before Bolden spoke up about it.
"I think (Bolden) was reflecting exactly what he heard the president say,"
Bolden said in the interview that Obama told him before he took the job that he wanted him to do three things: inspire children to learn math and science, expand international relationships and "perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering."
The comments drew fire from conservatives and former NASA officials already on high alert over the administration's move to cut funding for the NASA Constellation program.
Michael Griffin, NASA administrator under the Bush administration, said NASA was in danger of becoming an "empty shell."
However, he said that while international cooperation is welcome at NASA it's wrong to say the
Source and Full Story: Fox News