Spaceflight Insider

Administrator Bolden visits NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, NASA Goddard Flight Center Director Chris Scolese and Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski talk to reporters during a tour of the NASA Goddard facilities. Photo credit: NASA

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visited NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland on Tuesday, October 22. The trip was Bolden’s first trip to a NASA field center since the end of the of the government shutdown last week. Bolden was accompanied by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland who is the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

During their tour, Bolden and Mikulski viewed launch preparations for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) missions. Bolden and Mikulski, along with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director Chris Scolese talked to reporters outside of a clean room where the MMS spacecraft is being prepared for a planned 2015 launch.

During the government shutdown most NASA employees were furloughed and work was halted on most upcoming missions . Exceptions were granted for ongoing missions like the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, the Juno spacecraft on its way to the planet Jupiter and Mission Control which is supporting astronauts on orbit aboard the International Space Station. The Mars Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN or “MAVEN” mission was also granted an exception to the shutdown so that preparations for a planned November 18 launch could continue.


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Jim Sharkey is a lab assistant, writer and general science enthusiast who grew up in Enid, Oklahoma, the hometown of Skylab and Shuttle astronaut Owen K. Garriott. As a young Star Trek fan he participated in the letter-writing campaign which resulted in the space shuttle prototype being named Enterprise. While his academic studies have ranged from psychology and archaeology to biology, he has never lost his passion for space exploration. Jim began blogging about science, science fiction and futurism in 2004. Jim resides in the San Francisco Bay area and has attended NASA Socials for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover landing and the NASA LADEE lunar orbiter launch.

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