Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 17, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyLori Garver
Preceded byChristopher Scolese (Acting)
Personal details
BornCharles Frank Bolden, Jr.
(1946-08-19) August 19, 1946 (age 66)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Alma materUnited States Naval Academy
University of Southern California
United States Naval Test Pilot School
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 17, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyLori Garver
Preceded byChristopher Scolese (Acting)
Personal details
BornCharles Frank Bolden, Jr.
(1946-08-19) August 19, 1946 (age 66)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Alma materUnited States Naval Academy
University of Southern California
United States Naval Test Pilot School

Charles Frank Bolden, Jr. (born August 19, 1946)[1] is the current Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps general, and former NASA astronaut.

A 1968 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he became a Marine Aviator and test pilot. After his service as an astronaut, he became Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. On May 23, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Bolden as NASA Administrator and Lori Garver as Deputy NASA Administrator.[2] Bolden was confirmed by the Senate on July 15, 2009.[3] He is the first African American to head the agency on a permanent basis.[2]

Bolden is also the virtual host of the Shuttle Launch Experience attraction at Kennedy Space Center[4] and serves on the board of directors for the Military Child Education Coalition.

Contents

Education

Bolden graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in Columbia, South Carolina in 1964. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical science from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, and a Master of Science in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Military career

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUSMC logo.svg Marine Corps
Years of service1968–2004
RankMajor General
Commands heldI Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD)
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Battles/warsVietnam War
Operation Desert Thunder
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bolden speaking at a USMC recruiting event in 1982

Bolden accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps following graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1968. He was president of his class. He underwent flight training at Pensacola, Florida, Meridian, Mississippi, and Kingsville, Texas, before being designated a Naval Aviator in May 1970. He flew more than 100 sorties into North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the A-6A Intruder while assigned to VMA(AW)-533 at Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong, Thailand, from June 1972 to June 1973.

Upon returning to the United States, Bolden began a two-year tour as a Marine Corps selection officer and recruiting officer in Los Angeles, California, followed by three years in various assignments at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. In June 1979, he graduated from the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland and was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center's Systems Engineering and Strike Aircraft Test Directorates. While there, he served as an ordnance test pilot and flew numerous test projects in the A-6E, EA-6B, and A-7C/E airplanes.

He has logged more than 6,000 hours flying time.

Bolden was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1980. He was a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps until 1994 when he returned to active duty in the Marine Corps as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, effective June 27, 1994. In July 1997, he was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General of I Marine Expeditionary Force. From February to June 1998, he served as Commanding General, I MEF (Forward) in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. In July 1998, he was promoted to his final rank of Major General and assumed his duties as the Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan. He then served as the Commanding General, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, from August 9, 2000 until August 2002. He retired from the military in August 2004.

NASA career

Charles Frank "Charlie" Bolden, Jr.
NASA Astronaut
StatusRetired (still works at NASA)
Time in space28d 08h 37m
Selection1980 NASA Group
MissionsSTS-61-C, STS-31, STS-45, STS-60
Mission insigniaSTS-61-c-patch.pngSts-31-patch.pngSts-45-patch.pngSts-60-patch.png

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-61-C (January 12–18, 1986) and STS-31 (April 24–29, 1990), and was the mission commander on STS-45 (March 24, 1992 – April 2, 1992), and STS-60 (February 3–11, 1994).

Bolden was the first person to ride the Launch Complex 39 slidewire baskets which enable rapid escape from a Space Shuttle on the launch pad. The need for a human test was determined following a launch abort on STS-41-D where controllers were afraid to order the crew to use the untested escape system.[5]

Spaceflight experience

On STS-61-C, Bolden piloted Space Shuttle Columbia. During the six-day flight, crew members deployed the SATCOM KU band satellite, and conducted experiments in astrophysics and materials processing. STS-61-C launched from Kennedy Space Center on January 12, 1986. The mission was accomplished in 96 orbits of Earth, ending with a successful night landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California on January 18, 1986.

Bolden piloted Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-31. Launched on April 24, 1990 from Kennedy Space Center, the crew spent the five-day mission deploying the Hubble Space Telescope and conducting 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 of over 400 miles. Following 75 orbits of Earth in 121 hours, Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base on April 29, 1990.

On STS-45, Bolden commanded a crew of seven aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis, launched on March 24, 1992 from Kennedy Space Center. 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, Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center on April 2, 1992.

Bolden commanded STS-60's crew of six aboard Discovery. This was the historic first joint-American/Russian Space Shuttle mission involving the participation of a Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev as a mission specialist crew member. The flight launched on February 3, 1994 from Kennedy Space Center, and carried the Space Habitation Module-2 (SPACEHAB), and the Wake Shield Facility. 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 Center.

Administrator of NASA

Bolden speaks after landing of the last Space Shuttle mission, STS-135.

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Bolden to be administrator of NASA.[6]

In a NASA video, published April 28, 2010 titled "NASA's New Era of Innovation and Discovery", Bolden said: "We're gonna turn science fiction into science fact."[7]

In a June 2010 interview with Arab news outlet Al Jazeera, Bolden said that among his goals for outreach were to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, to expand NASA's international relationships.[8]

Bolden said his agency's long-term ambition is landing astronauts on Mars.[9] However, he has cited spending-cuts as a concern for major NASA projects.[10]

On August 28, 2012 he was the first human being to have his voice broadcast on the Mars surface. Although the rover has no speakers, it received the transmission of his voice and then beamed it back to Earth. [11][12]

Hello. This is Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator, speaking to you via the broadcast capabilities of the Curiosity Rover, which is now on the surface of Mars.

Since the beginning of time, humankind’s curiosity has led us to constantly seek new life…new possibilities just beyond the horizon. I want to congratulate the men and women of our NASA family as well as our commercial and government partners around the world, for taking us a step beyond to Mars.

This is an extraordinary achievement. Landing a rover on Mars is not easy – others have tried – only America has fully succeeded. The investment we are making…the knowledge we hope to gain from our observation and analysis of Gale Crater, will tell us much about the possibility of life on Mars as well as the past and future possibilities for our own planet. Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future.

Thank you.
—12th United States NASA Administrator Charles Bolden[13]

Awards and honors

Bolden's military awards include:

En-NavAstro.jpg
  
Gold star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Astronaut Badge
Defense Distinguished Service MedalDefense Superior Service MedalLegion of Merit w/ 1 award star
Distinguished Flying CrossDefense Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 oak leaf clusterAir Medal w/ 1 award star & Strike/Flight numeral 8NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal
NASA Exceptional Service Medal w/ 2 award starsNASA Space Flight Medal w/ 3 award starsNavy Unit CommendationNational Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 service starsMarine Corps Recruiting RibbonVietnam Gallantry Cross unit citationVietnam Campaign Medal

He has received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of South Carolina (1984), and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Winthrop College (1986), the University of Southern California Alumni Award of Merit (1989), an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Johnson C. Smith University (1990), an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Monmouth University (2011), and an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from the University of Maryland University College (2012).

See also


References

  1. ^ "Bolden, Charles F. Jr.". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 50-53. ISBN 9780824211134. 
  2. ^ a b "Retired General Picked to Lead NASA", by Kenneth Chang, New York Times, May 24, 2009
  3. ^ "Bolden and Garver Confirmed by U.S. Senate". NASA. July 15, 2009. http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/jul/HQ_09-165_Bolden_and_Garver.html. 
  4. ^ KSC's Shuttle Launch Experience : Kennedy Space Center
  5. ^ "LBJ Space Center Roundup" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. June 2007. http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/roundup/online/2007/0607.pdf. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  6. ^ Ex-astronaut Bolden to lead Nasa, BBC, July 19, 2009
  7. ^ NASA Video: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=12783063
  8. ^ "Charles Bolden: The Nasa administrator and astronaut in conversation with Al Jazeera's Imran Garda". Al Jazeera English. June 30, 2010. http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/talktojazeera/2010/07/201071122234471970.html. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  9. ^ Zobel, Jen (July 10, 2011). "NASA Administrator: President Obama Wants Americans On Mars". Ozarksfirst.com. http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=485247. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  10. ^ O'Neill, Ian (July 13, 2011). "James Webb Space Telescope Closer to the Axe". Discovery News. http://news.discovery.com/space/james-webb-space-telescope-closer-to-the-axe-110714.html. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  11. ^ Human voice makes giant leap in space thanks to Curiosity: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/28/us/mars-curiosity-voice/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
  12. ^ NASA's Curiosity rover to beam new will.i.am song from Mars: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48808906/ns/technology_and_science-space
  13. ^ First Recorded Voice from Mars

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Christopher Scolese
Acting
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2009–present
Incumbent