Obama to NASA: Hug Muslims

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Registered: 07-07-2010
Obama to NASA: Hug Muslims
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Thu, 07-08-2010 - 5:36pm

NASA Chief: Next Frontier Better Relations With Muslim World

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his "foremost" mission as the head of America's space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.

Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA's orbit, Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel.

"When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, 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," Bolden said in the interview.

The NASA administrator was in the Middle East last month marking the one-year anniversary since Obama delivered an address to Muslim nations in Cairo. Bolden spoke in June at the American University in Cairo -- in his interview with Al Jazeera, he described space travel as an international collaboration of which Muslim nations must be a part.

"It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim (nations)," he said. He held up the International Space Station as a model, praising the contributions there from the Russians and the Chinese.

However, Bolden denied the suggestion that he was on a diplomatic mission -- in a distinctly non-diplomatic role.

"Not at all. It's not a diplomatic anything," he said.

He said the United States is not going to travel beyond low-Earth orbit on its own and that no country is going to make it to Mars without international help.

Bolden has faced criticism this year for overseeing the cancellation of the agency's Constellation program, which was building new rockets and spaceships capable of returning astronauts to the moon. Stressing the importance of international cooperation in future missions, Bolden told Al Jazeera that the moon, Mars and asteroids are still planned destinations for NASA.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/05/nasa-chief-frontier-better-relations-muslims/

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2010
Tue, 07-13-2010 - 3:47am
Modern math came from the Arabs! At one time they were the leading scientific community. Their decline should be a lesson to us all.

xvx Pictures, Images and Photos


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Mon, 07-12-2010 - 12:41am

>>> I don't think you're understanding my point. I don't think that Bolden misspoke. I believe that Obama did indeed charge him with 3 missions, one of which being to reach out to Muslims.

The FOREMOST being outreach to Muslims.

>>> The issue I had with his statement was the wording. I felt that "make them feel good" seemed patronizing. And as I already said, without any evidence to the contrary, those exact words appear to be his own. To be clear, it's the wording, not the mission that I had a problem with.

I have a problem with the mission.

<>

>>> Yet another misunderstanding. Use partnering and collaborating interchangeably all you want, my point is that I never said we partnered/collaborated with a country that did not have a space program.

You repeatedly refer to the US-Russia collaboration with the ISS...but completely ignore the obvious...that Russia has an actual space program.

>>> I am not suggesting that we should partner with Afghanistan to develop a heavy lift launch vehicle, but we should consider collaborating with Muslim majority nations that do indeed have a space program - such as the ones I listed earlier.

Yes, the "space programs" that don't actually go into space. They may not have much to contribute, but I'm sure the "collaboration" will make them "feel better about themselves."

<>

>>> As you've said before, take the time and educate yourself. Do some research and become more informed on the subject. I was not suggesting that the student program counted as a space program. I mentioned it because it was an example of American/Muslim collaboration in the field of aerospace.

Yeah...except that the original goal was "future space missions"...not space camp for college kids.

<>

>>> And how specifically do you define that? Launch capabilities? Those who operate satellites? Manned space flight?

Yeah, how about we don't travel back in time 50 years to find partners for our space program. Let's make the cut off...manned space flight.

>>> If manned space flight is what you mean then it appears as though we can only collaborate with China and Russia. And yet we have been collaborating with 15 other countries on the International Space Station. Why would we waste our time working with countries who haven't "reached space"?

I can't imagine...but since a lot of those "collaborations" have more to do with research ON the space station, rather than actually exploring space, it's more like giving those other countries a ride to the show, rather than partnering with them to get there. As far as Obama's "outreach"...well, maybe we're shooting to be the first to get a camel in space.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 8:09pm

<<It's a matter of niggling semantics...his understanding, from speaking directly to Obama, was that he was "charged" by Obama with the "foremost goal" of outreach to Muslims.>>


I don't think you're understanding my point. I don't think that Bolden misspoke. I believe that Obama did indeed charge him with 3 missions, one of which being to reach out to Muslims. The issue I had with his statement was the wording. I felt that "make them feel good" seemed patronizing. And as I already said, without any evidence to the contrary, those exact words appear to be his own. To be clear, it's the wording, not the mission that I had a problem with.


<>


Yet another misunderstanding. Use partnering and collaborating interchangeably all you want, my point is that I never said we partnered/collaborated with a country that did not have a space program. I am not suggesting that we should partner with Afghanistan to develop a heavy lift launch vehicle, but we should consider collaborating with Muslim majority nations that do indeed have a space program - such as the ones I listed earlier.


<>


As you've said before, take the time and educate yourself. Do some research and become more informed on the subject. I was not suggesting that the student program counted as a space program. I mentioned it because it was an example of American/Muslim collaboration in the field of aerospace.


<<How about we limit our "collaboration" on "future space missions" to countries that have a "space program" that has actually reached "space.">>


And how specifically do you define that? Launch capabilities? Those who operate satellites? Manned space flight? If manned space flight is what you mean then it appears as though we can only collaborate with China and Russia. And yet we have been collaborating with 15 other countries on the International Space Station. Why would we waste our time working with countries who haven't "reached space"?


Chrissy


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 6:35pm

>>> I didn't say he "misspoke" but without any evidence to the contrary, it would appear that he chose his own words when speaking. Even though he may have been describing 3 missions set forth by Obama, as far as we know, he was paraphrasing and chose his own words.

It's a matter of niggling semantics...his understanding, from speaking directly to Obama, was that he was "charged" by Obama with the "foremost goal" of outreach to Muslims.

<>

>>> Again, a misquote. What's the point of using quotation marks if you're not going to quote someone properly?

to mark a distinction, since I don't have access to color or bold type.

>>> I used the ISS as an example of international collaboration. I never said that the US "partnered" with a country that doesn't actually have a space program. Your logic doesn't make sense given that I have already listed Muslim-majority countries that do indeed have a space program.

Again, semantics. "Partnering" is interchangable with "collaborating"...and the US has done neither with countries that don't already have well-established space programs. As for your "Muslim-majority countries that do indeed have a space program"...sorry, but a student program that has never actually gotten into space doesn't count.

<>

>>> So now the bar is raised to only collaborating with countries that have landed on the moon? Are we talking manned or unmanned missions? If it's manned, then I guess we're on our own because the US is the only country who has done that. If you're also including unmanned then we're restricted to only working with Russia. Is a space program only considered an actual space program if they've had a moon landing? Using your logic, the US didn't have a space program until 1969, 11 years after NASA was established.

How about we limit our "collaboration" on "future space missions" to countries that have a "space program" that has actually reached "space."

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 9:14am

<>


I didn't say he "misspoke" but without any evidence to the contrary,

Chrissy


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 6:29am

<>

>>> As you said, you "think" that. Do you have proof that those were Obama's exact words? Unless Bolden was actually quoting Obama, he chose his own words.

Oh, I see...it's ok for you to proclaim that Bolden "misspoke" without the slightest shred of evidence to back up your claim, but anyone who disagrees must provide documentation. I get it...how liberal. LOL! What we have here are Bolden's actual words...and the FACT that he said Obama communicated his intent personally. I'll let you prove he didn't mean what he actually said.

<>

>>> Source please?

Oh, my goodness...please read a little.

>>> From what I have read, Bolden stated that he was charged with three missions and when explaining those missions, he said "perhaps foremost". Again, those appear to be his own words.

Yes, "foremost goal" is completely different...Obama told the head of NASA that his "foremost goal" is now outreach to Muslims...not space exploration...but outreach to Muslims. Barry's not a Muslim, right? I don't know what the all the hubbaloo was about. Thanks for clearing that up.

<>

>>> I didn't say that they did.

You used the Space Station as an example of the US partnering with other nations in the area of space exploration. If the US has never "partnered", in space exploration, with a country that doesn't actually have a space program, then why bother mentioning the Space Station?

<>

>>> Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan

Oh...I must have missed the Pakistani moon landing.

>>> You may find these collaborative programs interesting: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/dec/HQ_09-271_Edu_Arab_Youth_SAA.html

Yeah, science club projects aren't really that compelling. Still, you have to wonder why the US would have to "engage outstanding college students from the UAE in fields of science, technology, engineering and aerospace" in the field of "space exploration" when you've said those countries already have their own space programs. Strange.

>>> Science and Technology Cooperation: The United States and Saudi Arabia have collaborated in several areas...blah, blah, blah...

Again, I must have missed the Saudi Arabian moon landing. Links? Now if you have some articles concerning a partnering on hotel technology or indoor skiing dynamics, I'm right there with you...but NASA? Hmmm...nah.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 1:33am

<Obama.>>


As you said, you "think" that.

Chrissy


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 12:35am

>>> Here's what I think...Did Bolden use a poor choice of words ("make them feel good" - WTH)? Yes.

I don't think that Bolden "chose" his words as much as repeated them...from what he was told, personally, by Obama.

>>> Has NASA's mission become one of diplomacy rather than spaceflight? No.

And yet, Bolden said he was told NASA's PRIMARY MISSION was now outreach to Muslims. How is NASA even equipped to do that?

>>> The fact of the matter is, our current plans for space travel will likely include other nations just as the International Space Station did.

I don't recall the US including other nations that didn't have a space program, but maybe I missed that detail.

>>> There are certainly Muslim-majority countries with space programs that could have something to offer (and of course something to gain) by collaborating with NASA. And that collaboration may help us in other areas as well.

What Muslim-majority countries with space programs are those?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sat, 07-10-2010 - 11:11pm

Here's what I think...Did Bolden use a poor choice of words ("make them feel good" - WTH)? Yes. Has NASA's mission become one of diplomacy rather than spaceflight? No. The fact of the matter is, our current plans for space travel will likely include other nations just as the International Space Station did. There are certainly Muslim-majority countries with space programs that could have something to offer (and of course something to gain) by collaborating with NASA. And that collaboration may help us in other areas as well.


Chrissy


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sat, 07-10-2010 - 10:24pm

<>

>>> But it was also a method for trying to encourage peace. That's the point here.

Right...to take two COMPETITORS and turn them into partners.

>>> If we can cooperate with the Muslim world in many different areas, then that cooperation could help lead to a more peaceful existence.

The "Muslim world" would have to have a space program first, in order for them to "cooperate" with us on "future space missions."

>>> My basic feeling on the matter is, what does it hurt? I don't see what the big deal is.

The "big deal" is that making Muslims "feel good" about themselves isn't the job, let alone "primary mission," of NASA. Besides, "Muslims" like us just fine, in general...and those that don't aren't going to change their minds because the head of NASA gives them a hug.

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