Los Angeles, CA, November 28, 2001 – The Space Frontier Foundation congratulated President Bush’s nominee for NASA Administrator, and announced its tentative support for his reform agenda. Sean O’Keefe, who has yet to be confirmed by Congress, comes from the Office of Management and Budget, and promises a new, fiscally responsible and more focused agency.
“Mr. O’Keefe is exactly what NASA needs,” stated Foundation President Rick Tumlinson. “NASA has lied and fudged its numbers for so long that no one believes them anymore. Given his background, Mr. O’Keefe has a real chance to bring some sanity and integrity back to our national space effort.”
The Foundation was the first civic space group to call for the resignation of the last administrator. The group believes the new nominee’s objective and analytical style, if combined with honesty and a willingness to work with those outside the agency, will lead to a new era in the opening of the frontier to the people.
“We want NASA to be a partner with the private sector, not a competitor, and get back to its real job of supporting science and exploration, including sending humans to Mars,” said Tumlinson. “From what we have heard, Mr. O’Keefe may be just the man to straighten out the mess at NASA and get them ready to set out on this new course.”
The Foundation has long advocated such a new partnership in space, with the private sector leading activities in the Near Frontier area within the Moon’s orbit, and NASA leading the exploration of the Far Frontier, including Mars and beyond.
Tumlinson concluded, “Sean O’Keefe can bring fiscal credibility to NASA, and help divest it of operational activities such as the space shuttle and station use and operations. We look forward to working with him soon to find common ground on these and other issues.”