NASA and DLR, two organizations… mutual ideas
Because of NASA's achievements, the United States continues to be regarded as the most important and strongest nation with regard to space. Until now, the relationship with other countries, including Germany, has been characterised by the fundamental view that all American missions should be realised using American expertise on the critical path. The future role of partners was a central subject during the visit by Charles Bolden.
Charlie Bolden, the head of NASA, visited Germany on his way to Israel and came to Stuttgart for a personal talk with Thomas Reiter and me. We were able to exchange opinions and ideas concerning various space subjects. As with previous meetings, one could say that this meeting took place in a personal and friendly atmosphere. In fact the relationship between NASA and DLR is a very trusting one, which encourages extensive cooperation. Like his predecessor Mike Griffin, Charlie is a 'convinced' spaceflight supporter, in his case with the personal experience of an astronaut. The time that was planned for our meeting was not sufficient to clarify all interesting subjects in adequate profoundness, but it was obvious that the United States are really ready to give Germany and Europe the position of a full partner in the future. In addition we will intensify our efforts in joint aeronautical research.
NASA is an ideal international partner for DLR as we have much in common, for example the existence of research and space agency activities under one roof. The existing similarity ends when one considers the different financial resources available to both institutions.
Looking back on the meeting and its atmosphere one can say that it was a good day for German-American cooperation in space and aeronautics.