Archive for the ‘NASA’ Category

Obama Picks Air Force General as NASA Head

January 15, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama’s made his pick for NASA head — a decorated military man, according to several reports.

Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Jonathan Scott Gration, who uses his middle name, is a career Air Force man who’s logged nearly 1,000 hours of combat flight time and been awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Service Medal, among many other awards.

Fox News

The son of missionaries, he was raised in Africa and speaks Swahili.

Reports said an official announcement would be forthcoming Wednesday. The Obama transition team refused’s requests to comment on the reports.

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This undated US Department of the Air Force handout photo shows ... 
This undated US Department of the Air Force handout photo shows Maj. Gen. Jonathan S. Gration. Gration, a retired Air Force major general, could soon be heading up the US space agency after being tapped by president-elect Barack Obama to take over the helm of NASA, a transition team source said Wednesday.(AFP/HO NASA/File/Ho)

Obama Plans Moves to Counter China in Space

January 2, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama will probably tear down long-standing barriers between the U.S.’s civilian and military space programs to speed up a mission to the moon amid the prospect of a new space race with China.

Obama’s transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration because military rockets may be cheaper and ready sooner than the space agency’s planned launch vehicle, which isn’t slated to fly until 2015, according to people who’ve discussed the idea with the Obama team.

The potential change comes as Pentagon concerns are rising over China’s space ambitions because of what is perceived as an eventual threat to U.S. defense satellites, the lofty battlefield eyes of the military.

The launch of Change 1, Xichang Satellite Center, China.jpg
Above: A China space launch

“The Obama administration will have all those issues on the table,” said Neal Lane, who served as President Bill Clinton’s science adviser and wrote recently that Obama must make early decisions critical to retaining U.S. space dominance. “The foreign affairs and national security implications have to be considered.”

China, which destroyed one of its aging satellites in a surprise missile test in 2007, is making strides in its spaceflight program. The military-run effort carried out a first spacewalk in September and aims to land a robotic rover on the moon in 2012, with a human mission several years later.

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