Saturday, July 18, 2009

New NASA Administrator: Charles Bolden

On July 15th the Senate voted to confirm Charles Bolden, Jr. as the new Administrator of NASA. He is the first African American to hold that position.

He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and flew combat in the A-6 Intruder during the Vietnam War as a Marine pilot. He served as a test pilot, and has more than 6,000 hours of flight time. After leaving NASA, He rose in rank in the Marine Corps, commanding various Marine forces and posts including Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan. He retired from the Corps as a Major General in 2004.

He served in NASA from 1980 to 1994. His shuttle missions include STS 61-C (Columbia) as pilot, STS 31 (Discovery) as pilot, STS 45 (Atlantis) as commander, and STS 60 (Discovery) as commander.

Personally I'm happy to see an astronaut at the head of NASA. I'm a big fan of human spaceflight over robotic-only exploration, and I hope he is, too. Managing the Constellation project is going to require a great effort on his part. 

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