In the face of Russia-US tensions what could we do if the Russia denied US astronauts rides to the ISS? As usual NASA administrator Bolden has the answer: “We would make an orderly evacuation.” This was during a US House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. It’s another dim moment from the long-time administrator’s lack-lustre stint. Bolden is out of his depth – as he has been for his entire 2000+ days in charge of NASA.

Put simply NASA has no contingency plan.

Remember when Bolden was asked about what could be done if an asteroid was headed toward New York? His reply: “pray”. Great, that’s what you’re employed for Charles, coming up with good ideas from your team of some of the smartest people on the planet.

Just after Bolden became administrator in 2009 he was asked what NASA’s priorities were. His answer: Muslim outreach. The kindest thing you could say about that was that Bolden was inept, and tried too hard to pander to his audience.

Bolden has presided over the end the Constellation program, the retirement of the space shuttles, the inability of the US to send a human into space, the weird priority of sending a crewed mission to an asteroid, and derided the possibility of returning to the Moon. Faced with the increasing popularity of the idea of a mission to Mars (Buzz Aldrin urges Mars colony), he’s reluctantly – finally – agreed Mars is the goal, but has only an unfunded and ridiculous mission plan set sometime in the never-never for which he’ll not need to accept any responsibility.

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