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NASA Admin Says Moon, Mars Mission Among Top Agency Priorities

Photo: Charles Bolden, NASA

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden recently spoke to Federal News Radio about the agency’s budget and its top priorities for the coming years. The agency recently received a clean financial audit from the Office of Management and Budget.

“Anytime you can demonstrate that, at least, you seem to know what you’re doing in the fiscal arena, then you’ve gained some credibility everywhere,” Bolden said.

In the interview, he said the agency has a responsibility to demonstrate to Congress and the American public that it knows how to manage money and use it efficiently.

NASA recently revealed it’s top three priorities for the next five years which include the development of a new space launch system, the expansion and enhancement of the International Space Station, as well as the development of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The agency is also working with international space agencies to develop a heavy lift vehicle to be able to go to the moon and Mars.

“The ultimate destination is Mars,” Bolden said. “That decision has been made quite some time ago by people long before me. President Obama has allowed us to focus our efforts on that, and so, the design of the heavy-lift launch vehicle and the multi-purpose crew vehicle is specifically to evolve to a vehicle that can get us to Mars in the 2030s.”

Although the agency was named one of the best places to work in a recent survey from the Partnership for Public Service, ranking at number five, Bolden is honored but not satisfied with its ranking.

“Number five is OK, but it’s not number one,” Bolden said in a laugh. “Let it be known by all others ahead of us that we’re coming after them. We want to be the number one best place to work in government.”

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