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July 6th, 2010
10:05 AM ET

NASA administrator: Muslim outreach a top priority

Recent comments by NASA administrator Charles Bolden about Muslim outreach have become fodder for conservative bloggers and left some space buffs wondering about NASA's mission.

"When I became the NASA administrator, [President Obama] charged me with three things," Bolden said in an interview with Al-Jazeera. "One, 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, math and engineering."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Islam • Politics • Science

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Man

    Erin your comments are spot on.. Our president is grasping for straws.. Hence the reason there are reports like this. Good Luck to Obama and the administration. We are all praying for you...

    July 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  2. Erin Robbles

    I think the President is VERY much out of touch in terms of Science:

    "we'll make the gulf better than ever"...which recover in about 100,000 years.

    July 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  3. Man

    Peace2all. Yes I am sure that your ancestors felt the same way as you do. Thanks for the enlighten picture of the questions posed as Bigotry. have you even been out of your country and witnessed what I am talking about? I bet not. I also bet that you have never served your country or sacrificed what others have to allow you to post your comments to something you have no understanding of. Read the Koran.. Let me know what you find out in regards to other faiths.. then come back and explain to me that the actions of reaching out to others are just. I don't have a problem with Nasa or reaching out to any faith but to single out one sect is disturbing do you have a comment for that? Why not others like Jews etc..

    July 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Man.......In your original post above, the main content of your message was very clear. "Basically, what are Muslims good for...? What are they good for here in the States....what sacrifice have they made...? What have they earned?" etc...etc...

      The content and the presuppostions behind your statements and questions were and are crystal clear.. Ignorance and Bigotry, among other sentiments, with a dash of racism and religious intolerance.

      I proceeded in my reply to your post to....... call you out on your ignorance and bigotry in very clear terms.

      You responded in your re: post to me with....Insults about my ancestors, wrong assumptions about me and my knowledge of other people and faiths.....ALL of which did nothing to deal with my calling YOU out on your bigotry. Your generalization of a certain people and questioning their 'worth' was pretty sickening. I gave you examples of knowing some muslims directly...good, honest, hard working caring people. Also, I didn't include in my original post, me and my wife are very good friends with 2 of the best Doctors in their fields...and yes, they are muslim. You also, did not deal with the illogic of your statement, of which I called you on in terms of going out 1 by 1 and find all of the muslims and 'measure their worth.' Which is absured......in response to your absured stance.

      I noticed that later on in your response to my post that you started to change your questions from your initial post which I called you on...... Your questions now seem to be about...."why just one sect..? why not others...?' ...which you also made in your posting to @Mike.....calling him on his not answering your questions..

      But all that shows is you changed your message from your initial bigotry and ignorance to ....now asking why just muslims...

      @Man....You have done NOTHING to show me anything different from your posts to me, that my calling you out on your bigotry and ignorance was and....still is valid.

      You mentioned to @Mike that ..."What does hate have to do with anything...?..Fact is not hate..."

      Well, In YOUR case, NON-FACTS DOES = IGNORANCE, BIGOTRY AND ...IT IS LOOKING LIKE....(SEE YOUR INITIAL POST)....'HATRED.'

      Sorry Man....I hope that you will learn and grow and take a hard look within and excise that hatred and bigotry and ignorance.

      Peace to you....

      July 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  4. Man

    feel free to sprinkle Fairy dust on the OBVIOUS here.

    http://politics.usnews.com/news/religion/articles/2008/04/07/why-did-so-many-muslims-seem-to-celebrate-911.html

    July 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  5. man

    Tell me besides Oil? How do Muslims help the US? What sacrifice have they made while here in the states? What have they earned besides government hand outs to start their own buisness.?

    July 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • peace2all

      @man.......Your comment is inflammatory, but more importantly showing your bigotry and ignorance. You are making a generalization about humans who happen to profess a certain faith(which quite honestly, I don't care for as much as christianity).

      Using your generalized arguement, we would have to go to each muslim and look and see how they contribute. And given that I know of at least one muslim family....they go to work...just like you and me....assuming you work of course. And are extremely nice polite and good hearted people.

      Please don't share your bigotry on these posts....not very intelligent behavior, nor helpful to peace.....

      July 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  6. man

    All

    Why should we put a hand out to the Muslim population? Why are we singaling out one particular sect? Why are we reaching out the only thing that is reached out to us is a strapped bomb or two to someone who wants to be a martyr. WAKE UP as Obama's is not focused. JOBS? HOMELESS? BORDER? ECONOMY. WHat the heck is this side track reteric?

    July 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Tim

    Sorry Robb, quit drinking the Kool-Aid of the Obama apologists. Nobody's ignoring contributions of history, but I remember being a 12 yrs old watching America, ...yep, I said the USA, putting men on the surface of the frickin' moon.
    THAT was their job. Your "We are a pimple on their cultural and historical butts" comment is a bit over the top.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Tim

    "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, math and engineering."

    The question is why Muslims?, why not Buddist or HIndus or Jews, or left handed Swedes?
    Excuse me, his motives are showing. It has nothing to do with NASA's mission, it's an absurd concept froma President that has lost control. I don't trust Obama's motives, his agenda or his ability.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  9. Robb

    What is the big deal? Should we ignore the contributions of other civilizations that led to our own developments? What if he was charged with recognizing the Chinese for their contributions to rocketry (remember, they invented it – or do we want to play American ethnocentric history rewrites on that too)? Would that a big deal. Or it just the typical Crusades level hatred by Christians of Muslims? Who cares? And I hate to tell you all that long after the US empire has crumbled, these so-called backwards people will still be here, just like they have for thousands of thousands of years, outlasting every other empire in modern history. We are a pimple on their cultural and historical butts.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • Aloisae

      The big deal is that President Obama (and George Bolden) have been advocating cutting space exploration and aeronautical technology programs. This may be an economic reality and I can understand the need for international cooperation in the future of both of these. However, diverting funds to specifically outreach to Muslim partners as the top priority is wasteful. As part of the overall program, fine.. but the reality is that they are not in the position to be one of the chief contributors and giving them the greatest emphasis and funding would undermine other programs.

      July 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Well then Robb .... if you don't want to rewrite history why not give the German's their due when it come to rocketry development? I'd venture to say that they had MORE of an impact on the development of load carrying rockets than the Chineese did when they invented fireworks! Had it not been for Wernher von Braun (a Nazi party member and commissioned SS Officer) being spirited out of Germany by the US after WWII I'd argue that WE would not have beaten the Soviets to the Moon!

      And for the record - I take personal offense to your comment that the US is a pimple on ANYONE'S @$$! Feel free to hop the next plane to any Muslim country you'd like – I'll even buy YOUR ticket!!!!!!

      July 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  10. Reality

    When Charles Bolden demands that the koran be rewritten without the Gabriel myths and the passages that male Muslims dominate women and the world in general by any means then and only then will we listen to him. Until then, no Muslim male can be trusted no matter what NASA says.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Luke

      When Charles Bolden demands that the bible be rewritten without any mention of genocide or slavery and that male Christians cannot stone their wives and children to death and dominate the world in general by any means then and only then will we listen to him. Until then, no Christian male can be trusted no matter what Reality says.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Where in the NT does it say that one is allowed to stone his wife and/or children?? Or dominate the world by any means? Or commit genocide? Or permit slavery?

      July 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • Reality

      Last time I checked the torah was being rewritten as is the NT. We await for the same to happen to the koran. In the meantime, Christians follow the current and highly embellished, sometimes mythical NT that still has those magic words, love thy neighbor as thyself and which supersedes anything in the torah.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  11. spacefan

    Arabic mathematics began with the work of al-Khwarizmi, namely the beginnings of algebra-born 800a.d. LONG before Islam. Arabs are not credited with "inventing calculus". And the United States certainly has nothing technological to gain from a relationship with any particular country, muslim or not. The point worth noting here is the ADMINISTRATOR of NASA has been quoted as saying his "formost" mission is to is to improve relations with the Muslim world. this is just ridiculous. His formost mission, as is the mission of all NASA employees, is that of the agency- "NASA's mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research". International cooperation is wonderful- and NASA currently has cooperative agreements with 30 of 50 countries identified as "Muslim". But cooperating with allies is much different that courting the acceptance of religious beliefs.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  12. Zee

    still haven't heard a single good reason why NASA needs to be the ones reaching out to Muslims. OK, they may have invented algebra and helped mathematics develop to the point where we could put a man on the moon. Apparently many people here already know that. So, I'm sure many of them already know that. Give them a medal or something! Why does NASA need to make them feel good about it? They already should, they don't need our help. Muslims are not all stupid or all terrorists contrary to what many people here think. Let NASA work on Aeronautic and Space programs as they were created to do, heck, invite and train some Muslim astronauts to work on the ISS or go to the moon. Best of both worlds

    July 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Aloisae

      The reason for outreach to Muslim nations is the same as for outreach to any other nation.. at this point, the future of space exploration is going to be cooperative efforts. For example, Malaysia has a manned space program that could contribute to further space exploration. The problem is with giving that priority over the rest of NASA's mission or over international cooperation with other nations, many of which have more advanced programs.

      July 6, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  13. Gary Rose

    Islam has not contributed any significant science or technology to the world for centuries. The current Islamic status with regard to contributing to the advancement of science and technology is small. The U.S. on the other hand has shown it can do the impossible and engage the world – a magnificent and real technological and scientific legacy that Obama has now abandoned. It will take years to recover from the damage. Obama is dragging the U.S. down to the level of a third-world country in its ability to compete and lead in technologically. Let's hope the entrepreneurial spirit will fill the gap with real American innovation and then American can repair itself. Obama is obviously antiAmeican.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Luke

      Can you please provide examples of how "Obama has abandoned scientific legacy" or how we are becoming a "third world country in its ability to compete and lead in technology." Without specifics, there isn't much one can do to debate you. Our math and science scores have been falling for the better part of 20-30 years on a relative scale to the world, while China and India have invested in education. Nothing new on this front in the last 18 months since Mr. Obama was sworn in. And again, for the last time, if you are referring to the cancellation of the Constellation program which would have replaced the Shuttle program, we would have had a 5-6 year gap between manned flight with Constellation anyway. The current administration, alongside NASA leadership, scrapped that plan in favor of a cheaper alternative that should bring man back to space in a 4-5 year span. Cheaper and quicker. What's the problem Gary? I was saddened at first too, but when I looked at the numbers and spoke to a close friend that works on the Shuttle team, he and I agreed that while job loss is likely, this plan is better for NASA long-term.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Really Luke? Your friend on the Suttle project told you that NASA's direction is a good thing??? I'm shocked – considering my cousin, who works on the advanced design team at JPL, has exactly the opposite opinion (as do most of his collegues).

      July 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • Luke

      Mike – so you are saying that two people that work at the agency....ya know...can't have different opinions? He likes the idea and sees nothing wrong with it. So?

      July 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  14. Richard

    Luke – your extreme predjudice leaves no room for logic or reason. You are only stirring up more disgust with those who are already at their limit with this anit-American, anti-Christian, non-transparent, non-comprimising, non-tolerant, non-truthful president. If Barak Hussein Obama (it is the man's name, it is the truth – deal with it) keeps up this destructive path our nation is going to hit the boiling point of emotions and that will not be good for anyone. Prayer is the only way we will get through this presidency without severe response to this continous attack on our values and way of life. Too many citizens love this country for what it stands for, the good it has done for the world, the prosperity it offers their children and because its foundation is Christianity. Love thy enemy is what a Christion is commanded to do – but if you keep poking him in the eye his emotions may overcome his ability to control his actions. That is what I fear for our country under this man. I ask that you quite attacking our values and that all of America prays for calm and love of one another.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Luke

      Richard – Uh. Hmmm. And this has to do with NASA and mathematics how? In any event, what the F are you talking about?

      July 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  15. Spot

    Our government has lost it's way. We need to start from scratch.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  16. Mike

    English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton (1642–1727) and German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716) are both credited with inventing calculus.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Luke

      My mistake. Algebra was developed greatly during Islam's golden age.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  17. conan the contrarion

    lol- none of these three priorities have to do with space. and this guy is nasa leadership? perhaps he should have found another organization to work with?

    July 6, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Luke

      Hi Conan – NASA does not only concentrate on space flight. While a core compentency, the agency has many duties including geological studies, astronomy, the search for life elsewhere, weather (working hand in hand with the NOAA), and many other fields of science and mathematics. What is your problem again? Your narrow view of the world and ill-informed non-researched statement saddens me.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • peace2all

      actually, if you read the whole article..........it is about respecting their contributions...and....also, helping to encourage mathematics, science and engineering literacy.

      What is wrong with that....? Anything we can do to reach out and connect with others and make the world a better place is worth exploring.....

      July 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      peace2all – I've got nothing against reaching out and making connections with other cultures. My problem is that reaching out is the job of the State Department NOT NASA. The folks at NASA's PRIMARY focus should NOT be a Muslim outreach program but an interstellar outreach program!

      July 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • conan the contrarion

      luke- you have emotional problems if my post makes you sad. i'm aware that nasa engages in activities that aren't entirely space related- but space exploration is definitely one of their missions. i remarked that this didnt seem to be important to this administrator, as they werent in his top three priorities. quit being sad little guy. and tell me why i should be fine with nasa leadership concentrating more on things that arent their specialty.

      July 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Luke

      conan the contrarion – Because the Muslim world has contributed very heavily, historically speaking, to the foundations of mathematics that make NASA's missions viable on all fronts. It is my contention that while manned space flight programs return to their infancy, it is not such a bad thing to reach out to the very cultures that aided in making our programs and thirt for knowledge of the unknown possible. I'm not sad big guy. It's a metaphor.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • peace2all

      Mike in NYC.......Well, it isn't there primary goal.....but....it is a nice secondary goal...that is not and should not be limited to the State Dept.. Where is it written in law or anywhere else that that is the case...?

      So, all departments and all people reaching out is important.....and it is the "reaching out part and making connections with other cultures" which you have already agreed with me on.....

      July 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Yes peace2all but unfortunatly the quote from Charles Bolden does not say that reaching out to the Muslim world is a secondary goal. He said that President Obama "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, math and engineering."

      So according to the Director of NASA the President of the United States has made their foremost charge is to reach out to the Muslim world to make them feel better about themselves. Sorry friend but that doesn't sound like something that NASA should be doing as a primary objective.

      July 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Doing a bit more research outside of CNN... this sounds like it is a case of poor phrasing. Charles Bolden was a US astronaut and has great respect for the contributions of space exploration and aeronautical research to the US. One of the things he was tasked with was encouraging international cooperation in space exploration.. which would include at least some Muslim nations. The problem with his statement (and with President Obama's priorities if they are as stated) is that it put the emphasis on Muslim nations when they, in reality, are just one (and at this time not even one of the dominant) component in the current reality of international space exploration and scientific innovation. None of this would have sparked any controversy if he had omitted the "perhaps foremost" and had instead put Muslim outreach as a "including but not limited to" subset of the international cooperation issue.

      July 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mike in NYC.....I get it......And....You think that it will stop NASA from making our journey to space a no go....or a 'lesser non primary priority....?

      I think that if we...all of us don't start making some kind of common ground connections on a positive note now.....we may not have any future space program to journey to other worlds...

      July 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      The problem peace2all is that right now we don't HAVE a space program designed to take us to another world ... not now OR in the furture. We have a President that is worried more about pacifying "the Muslim" world than anything else. So much so that he has now changed our space agency's primary objective from exploration to PR.

      July 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • peace2all

      Hi Mike in NYC......"pacifying the muslim world".......?

      O.k....way too much in there to go off on debates on other agenda issues........

      Mike......I am very well aware of the exact starter topic up above, and the quotes and languaging of the President allegedly, and the NASA administrator. So, with all of that said and out of the way, as WE HAVE ALREADY GONE OVER...

      ****Please tell me... Which do you believe as a more important mandate.....getting along and building bridges, and helping bring some other countries into the 21st century so they or we don't end up blowing each other up....?
      Or..... a space program...? Or even which should come first....?

      Which is a higher priority and order.....? If we don't agree on that one.....

      Peace to you....

      July 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Hi peace2all – While I do believe that "getting along" and "building bridges" should be part of what every government agency does. That said – I do not believe that NASA's primary object should be that. If you don't believe we should fund a space program then that is certainly your prerogative, however, IF we are going to have a space program their primary objective should be just that .... space exploration .... NOT hand holding Muslim countries and trying to make them "feel better about themselves."

      July 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mike in NYC..... Hey Mike, you didn't answer my question......! You just recovered ground, we have already explored...

      Given your prior postings about funding and your friends at JPL, etc.....I get it about the space program...

      However, again.....I reissue my question.....Which is a greater mandate....Please stay away from the cultural and political rhetoric if possible by the way...only can be inflammatory....

      July 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      I didn't fail to answer your question peace2all. I said quite clearly – the primary objective of NASA should be space exploration. "Bridge building" and "hand holding", while nice – is NOT what they should be doing. Their mandate should be space. Period. End of sentence.

      July 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  18. gobnait

    Obama bashes Bush for nation-building but he thinks we are responsible for bolstering Muslim self-esteem? You can't make this stuff up.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • Luke

      What exactly does your statement haver to do with NASA reaching out to Muslim mathematicians?

      July 6, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  19. JJD

    This president is insane!

    July 6, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Luke

      Why? Because Calculus was invented by Muslims and stands as the very foundation of advaned mathematics and physics that allows manned space flight? They also perfected the scientific method and peer review. I'm not sure what your problem is.

      July 6, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Robynn

      Hi Luke,

      JJD can't believe anyone other than people who look like him can have brains. Of course, he is delusional

      July 6, 2010 at 11:04 am |
    • Luke

      Robynn – Maybe we should let him know that while the Muslims were going through the golden age of mathematics and scientific discovery in astronomy, the Christian world was preparing for the dark ages and drawing maps of a flat earth and a heliocentric model that placed the earth at the center of the universe. What do you think?

      July 6, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Mike in NYC

      The issue isn't that we shouldn't be reaching out to the rest of the world, or that we shouldn't be acknowledging other cultures' contributions to the sciences .... its that Muslim outreach shouldn't be NASA's FOREMOST focus. Muslim outreach is the State Department's job. NASA's job is to reach for the stars. Oh wait ... I forgot ... Obama has decided that ISN'T NASA's job anymore. 😦

      July 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • jlue

      If only he were insane. He knows exactly what he is doing. Scary, ain't it?

      July 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • Adam

      Luke, I am pretty sure that while the people who invented Calculus may have been living in a Muslim country, they were either Athiest or Agnostic and not religious.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • BeTheCode

      I'm sorry Luke but had to set you straight. Muslims did not invent Calculus (that made you look uninformed) they invented Algebra or some form of it. Newton should be credited as the main contributor to Calculus. Yes, he was white and intelligent. Wow, imagine that.

      July 6, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
    • Luke

      BeTheCode – I corrected my error, moments later, below. Simple mistake and negligent to the argument.

      July 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • BeTheCode

      Wrong again Luke, you really don't do this well. It was not negligent to the argument as your main point was that Muslims invented calculus and that branch of math is used heavily in manned spaceflight. You were attempting to correlate the new top priority for NASA to Muslims contributions to space flight. Your main talking point was based on incorrect information and was crucial to your argument, which failed.

      July 7, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • VHalen

      +1

      July 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  20. micrbu

    This is simply outrageous!!! It is a clear violation of the 1st amendment' s separation of church and state!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Doug

      I don't believe this is a clear violation of the 1st amendment. Too many people have way too broad view of the 'seperation of church and state' and this clearly is not making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion.

      BUT I think it is not the role of NASA which is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research to "reach out to the Muslim world and engage..." Sounds more political and more State Dept stuff than science. Why expand a critical science department into not technical areas when we don't even have the budget to get the science stuff done.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • Mike in NYC

      Obama has to give NASA SOMETHING to do since he's gutted the space program .... Since, obviously, his State Department is incapable of it – why not make THEM in charge of playing nice with the Muslim world??!!!! Its not like they're gonna be putting a man in space during Obama's reign! 😦

      July 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • Luke

      Mike in NYC – They weren't going anyway. Constellation, before being gutted, wasn't going to be ready for 5-6 years. The Obama administration canceled Constellation in order to invest in a newer more cost efficient program that should bring us to space in 4-5 years. With the Shuttle program ending at the end of 2010, we would have had a gap in manned space flight anyway, but the new budget adds to NASA's funding in order to get us to space quicker and cheaper. I can't see what the problem is.

      July 6, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      The problem Luke is that while the Obama administration is saying they scrapped Constillation and the billions invested in is for 'cheaper more efficient' ways to get us there in the same time period ... there IS nothing on the board to replace it. NASA ISN'T working on ANY manned projects. They are relying on the private sector to develop something in the time they want and if it doesn't then the plan is to pay the Russians whatever they ask. Doesn't exactly sound like much of a plan to me!

      July 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Luke

      Mike in NYC – According to my good pal on the Shuttle program's flight team, there are plans on the table, but none are implemented yet. They are currently in the process of figuring out which plan is best for the agency and will run with it. Focusing on it will be a problem, but something that should be easily overcome. During the gap, we will be looking for private sector aid. What's the issue again? Why go forth with an inefficient project during a massive recession when we can invest in a potentially better program?

      July 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Well then Luke – your friend on the soon to be extinct Shuttle launch team has more information than my cousin on JPL's design team. All I can tell you is that according to HIM NASA has NOTHING on the boards in terms of design programs for manned flight programs. The "plan" (if you can call it that) is to wait for the private sector to catch up to NASA and if they can't they'll pay Russia. Thats it my friend. THAT is the plan. Not exactly inspiring a whole lot of confidence at Cal Tech I'll tell ya!

      July 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • Adam

      Tell them when the astronauts went to the moon they were greeted by Mohammed, the supreme ruler of the universe. This should make them happy.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Steve

      Why specifically naming our muslims? He could have named any culture.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.