"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.
"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.
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. (Fox News)
Charles Bolden, the Nasa administrator, talks to Al Jazeera's Imran Garda about the US relationship with the Middle East after Obama's so-called Cairo initiative, reaching out to the Muslim world, international contribution to the space mission, the constellation project, Nasa's challenges, militarisation of space, the US leadership role in space, and life in space. (Click here to view Al Jazeera interview).
Griffin said Tuesday that collaboration with other countries, including Muslim nations, is welcome and should be encouraged -- but that it would be a mistake to prioritize that over NASA's "fundamental mission" of space exploration.
"If by doing great things, people are inspired, well then that's wonderful," Griffin said. "If you get it in the wrong order ... it becomes an empty shell."
Griffin added: "That is exactly what is in danger of happening." (NPJ)