Bolden recently said in Al-Jazeera television that president Barack Obama had instructed him to work for better outreach with the Muslim world.
Bolden also added that Obama told him, one of his top priorities was 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, math and engineering."
The White House sought to clarify Bolden's comment, saying Obama wanted NASA to engage with the world's best scientists and engineers from countries like Russia and Japan, Israel and many Muslim-majority countries.
But still the controversy is going on.
Many in the US space community, such as moon astronaut Neil Armstrong, are disgruntled by Obama's proposals to bolster support for private space companies and abandon an over-budget NASA moon program.