NASA administrator Charles Bolden had an op-ed in today’s {well the website says 27 April) yesterday’s Houston Chronicle that is notably short and strangely refers to a 2015 International Space Station retirement date in the present tense

While I can understand why he was making the point of the Constellation programme’s Ares I crew launch vehicle and its Orion crew exploration vehicle only starting to operate after ISS was to be retired in 2015 surely president Barack Obama has now OK’d station use to 2020? Bolden doesn’t mention that his plan’s commercial crew programme is not expected to deliver an operational crew transport system until 2016 at the earliest

But Bolden has greater problems than the use of tense in an op-ed, as the Congressional investigation into actions by NASA on Constellation contracts steps up a gear; has the agency broken the law?

I wonder how Congress will also feel about co-operation with the Chinese? According to the Agence France Presse, via the Times Colonist (?) website, Bolden said Tuesday that he would be happy to co-operate with China – the rumours are a US astronaut would fly on a Shenzhou mission

And just to add to Bolden’s Congressional woes, on the same day as his Houston Chornicle op-ed, 27 April, another Congressman gave their penny’s worth on the Obama plan