Bolden Is First African American Nominated For Post
The White House has
nominated a pioneering Space Shuttle astronaut, Charles Bolden, to
lead NASA during what may come to be one of its most demanding
"Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate
the following individuals for key administration posts: General
Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA and Lori Garver, Deputy
Administrator of NASA."
The President added that, "These talented individuals will help
put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science,
aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the
long-term vibrancy of America's space program."
Bolden brings extensive experience to the role. Selected by NASA
in May 1980, Bolden became an astronaut in August 1981. His
technical assignments included: Astronaut Office Safety Officer;
Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations;
Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson Space Center;
Astronaut Office Liaison to the Safety, Reliability and Quality
Assurance Directorates of the Marshall Space Flight Center and the
Kennedy Space Center; Chief of the Safety Division at JSC; Lead
Astronaut for Vehicle Test and Checkout at the Kennedy Space
Center; and Assistant Deputy Administrator, NASA Headquarters. A
veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 680 hours in
space. Bolden served as pilot on STS-61C (January 12-18, 1986) and
STS-31 (April 24-29, 1990), and was the mission commander on STS-45
(March 24-April 2, 1992), and STS-60 (Feb. 3-11, 1994).
Bolden left NASA and returned to active duty in the U.S. Marine
Corps as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy,
Annapolis, Maryland, effective June 27, 1994.
Brig. General Bolden is the Assistant Wing Commander, HQ 3rd MAW
Miramar, San Diego, California.
Space Flight Experience
STS-61C Space Shuttle Columbia. During the six-day flight crew
members deployed the SATCOM KU satellite and conducted experiments
in astrophysics and materials processing. STS-61C launched from the
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on January 12. The mission was
accomplished in 96 orbits of Earth, ending with a successful night
landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 18,
STS-31 Space Shuttle Discovery. Launched on April 24, 1990, from
the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the five-day mission,
crew members deployed the Hubble Space Telescope and conducted a
variety of middeck experiments. They also used a variety of
cameras, including both the IMAX in cabin and cargo bay cameras,
for Earth observations from their record-setting altitude over 400
miles. Following 75 orbits of Earth in 121 hours, STS-31 Discovery
landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 29,
On STS-45 Bolden commanded a crew of seven aboard Space Shuttle
Atlantis. Launched on March 24 from the Kennedy Space Center in
Florida, STS-45 was the first Spacelab mission dedicated to NASA's
Mission to Planet Earth. During the nine-day mission, the crew
operated the twelve experiments that constituted the ATLAS-1
(Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science) cargo.
ATLAS-1 obtained a vast array of detailed measurements of
atmospheric chemical and physical properties, which contribute
significantly to improving our understanding of our climate and
atmosphere. In addition, this was the first time an artificial beam
of electrons was used to stimulate a man-made auroral discharge.
Following 143 orbits of Earth, STS-45 Atlantis landed at the
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 2, 1992.
On STS-60 he commanded a
crew of six aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. This was the historic
first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission involving the
participation of a Russian Cosmonaut as a mission specialist crew
member. The flight launched on February 3, 1994, from the Kennedy
Space Center, Florida, and carried the Space Habitation Module-2
(Spacehab-2), and the Wake Shield Facility-01 (WSF-1).
Additionally, the crew conducted a series of joint U.S./Russian
science activities. The mission achieved 130 orbits of the Earth,
ending with a landing on February 11, 1994, at the Kennedy Space
Coalition for Space Exploration Supports Nomination
"The Coalition for Space Exploration is pleased
that President Obama has named retired Gen. Charles Bolden as NASA
administrator and Lori Garver as deputy administrator. Bolden is a
strong and experienced leader who will balance the priorities of
"America's space program is at a critical crossroad. NASA needs
a clearly defined plan and unwavering support from the president
and Congress to achieve our nation's space exploration objectives.
We look forward to working with the new NASA administrator and his
leadership team as we address the rapidly approaching human
spaceflight gap following retirement of the Space Shuttle, the next
generation Constellation program and full utilization of the
International Space Station."