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About Charles F. Bolden, Jr.


Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, retired Marine Corps Major General Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., began his duties as the twelfth Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on July 17, 2009. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the agency's missions and goals.

Within his 34-year career as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Office, he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions. His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a cosmonaut as a member of his crew.

Bolden earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the U.S. Naval Academy in electrical science in 1968 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Bolden served in a variety of positions in the Marine Corps in California and earned a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977.

Bolden's NASA astronaut career included technical assignments as the Astronaut Office Safety Officer; Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations; Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson Space Center; Chief of the Safety Division at Johnson (overseeing safety efforts for the return to flight after the 1986 Challenger accident); lead astronaut for vehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space Center; and Assistant Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters. After his final space shuttle flight in 1994, he left the agency to return to active duty with the operating forces in the Marine Corps as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy

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