Charles Bolden chosen to lead NASA

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President Barack Obama has chosen retired astronaut Charles Bolden to lead Nasa.

Here is the Cliffs Notes version of the Bolden story:

  • He has 680 hours in space
  • Maj-Gen Bolden grew up in segregated South Carolina and flew on more than 100 combat sorties in Vietnam.
  • He joined Nasa in 1980 and is a veteran of four space shuttle flights, commanding the mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit in 1990.
  • If confirmed, Maj-Gen Bolden, 62, would be only the second astronaut to lead Nasa during its 50-year history.
  • Bolden served for three months as a lobbyist for ATK, the Minnesota-based firm that builds solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle and the next generation Ares rocket. Bolden also was a member of the board of GenCorp, a second major NASA contractor.
  • Lori Garver, a former Nasa official and space adviser to the Obama campaign, was named as his deputy.  Both positions require US Senate confirmation.
  • Bolden will now begin a series of courtesy calls to senators on Capitol Hill who will review his nomination, starting with the 25-member Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
  • Those who have flown or worked with Bolden can’t praise him enough.

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