View Full Version : Former Marine may be Obama's NASA Pick

01-14-09, 05:07 PM
I dont know if this has been reported here before , If it has then scratch it Admen.

Former Marine may be Obama’s NASA Pick

January 07, 2009
Houston Chronicle|by Mark Carreau <!-- Uncomment this when the Jive comments functionality is available -->

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A former astronaut who has made four trips into space is reportedly a leading candidate for the top job at <NOBR style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 100%">NASAhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/mag-glass_10x10.gif</NOBR> (http://www.*************/news/article/former-marine-may-be-obamas-nasa-pick.html?ESRC=marine.nl#).
If selected by President-elect Barack <NOBR style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 100%">Obamahttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/mag-glass_10x10.gif</NOBR> (http://www.*************/news/article/former-marine-may-be-obamas-nasa-pick.html?ESRC=marine.nl#), Charles Bolden Jr., 62, a retired Marine Corps general who makes his home in Houston's Bay Area, would be the first black to head the space agency.
The former test pilot left NASA in 1994 after 14 years of service to return to the Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of major general. He retired in 2003.
But Bolden has remained familiar with NASA's workings and personnel. He currently serves on NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, one of nine experts who advises the administrator. He is also an adviser to the four high-ranking NASA officials who are overseeing the upcoming space shuttle reconditioning flight to the 18-year-old Hubble Space Telescope. Bolden piloted the shuttle Discovery in 1990 that flew the observatory into space.
Bolden said Tuesday night that while he has discussed the space agency and its future with friends at NASA, he has not been contacted by Obama's transition team.
"I'm as surprised as anyone," he said about the reports circulating in Washington and at the Johnson Space Center about his name surfacing as a leading candidate. NBC News and the Orlando Sentinel published the reports Tuesday afternoon.
Asked if he would discuss the job if contacted, Bolden said, "Yes," adding, "You never say never."
Bolden stressed that it would be difficult for any candidate for the job to know how to respond until he or she knew what the president-elect has in mind.
In Washington, Obama transition team spokesman Nick Shapiro was asked if he had any guidance on the reports that Bolden had emerged as a leading contender for NASA administrator. Shapiro replied: "I don't have any guidance on this either way. If that changes I'll let you know."
During his campaign, Obama advocated greater funding for the $17.3-billion-a-year space agency. He favored a plan to close a five-year gap between the shuttle's scheduled 2010 retirement and the first manned trials of a replacement spacecraft.
Some policy analysts say they believe Obama has not yet made a selection for the top NASA post in order to allow the small space transition team led by Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator in the Clinton administration, plenty of time to sort out the options.
On Bolden's first mission into space in 1986, he served as the pilot aboard the shuttle Columbia. The crew included Bill Nelson, then a Florida congressman, who was allowed to fly because of his role as a legislative overseer of the space agency. Nelson, now a Florida senator and champion of NASA and its economic impact on Central Florida, has counseled Obama on space matters.
After he returned to the military, Bolden served as the deputy commanding general for the Marines in the Pacific and as the Marines commanding general in Kuwait. He commanded an air wing of 11,000 personnel from Miramar, Calif., involved in military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In 2002, President George W. Bush nominated Bolden to serve as NASA's deputy administrator. However, the White House withdrew the nomination after the Pentagon objected to civilian agencies drafting high-ranking officers during wartime.
Meanwhile, a Web petition drive started in December by Scott "Doc" Horowitz, a former NASA astronaut, as a bid to persuade Obama to keep Michael Griffin, the current administrator, has gathered more than 2,700 responses. It's also sparked some opposition after it became known that Griffin's wife, Rebecca, had urged friends in e-mail messages to sign the petition.
Others who have been mentioned for the NASA post include Garver; Sally Ride, American's first female astronaut; Scott Hubbard, a Stanford University professor and a former director of NASA's Ames Research Center; Pete Worden, Ames current director; Ed Weiler, NASA's science chief, and Alan Stern, the agency's previous science chief.
Houston Chronicle reporter Stewart Powell in Washington contributed to this report.