Bolden Confirmed As New NASA Administrator

Nominees Promise a More Relevant NASA
Charles Bolden, nominee for Administrator of NASA, testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 8, 2009. Lori Garver, nomine for debuty NASA chief, is in foreground. (Image credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls))

CharlesFrank Bolden, Jr., was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as the twelfthadministrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Lori BethGarver was confirmed as NASA's deputy administrator.

"It isan honor to have beennominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to lead this greatNASA team," Bolden said. "Today, we have to choose. Either we caninvest in building on our hard-earned world technological leadership or we canabandon this commitment, ceding it to other nations who are working diligentlyto push the frontiers of space."

"If wechoose to lead, we must build on our investment in the International SpaceStation, accelerate development of our next generation launch systems to enableexpansionof human exploration, enhance NASA's capability to study Earth'senvironment, lead space science to new achievements, continue cutting-edgeaeronautics research, support the innovation of American entrepreneurs, andinspire a rising generation of boys and girls to seek careers in science,technology, engineering and math."

Bolden'sconfirmation marks the beginning of his second stint with NASA. His 34-yearcareer with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's AstronautOffice. After joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four timesaboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions.His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the firstjoint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a cosmonaut as a member ofhis crew.

During hisastronaut career, Bolden also drew technical assignments as the AstronautOffice safety officer; technical assistant to the director of Flight CrewOperations; special assistant to the director of the Johnson Space Center;chief of the Safety Division at Johnson (overseeing safety efforts for thereturn to flight after the 1986 Challenger accident); lead astronaut forvehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space Center; and assistant deputyadministrator at NASA Headquarters. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame inMay 2006.

Immediatelyprior to Bolden's nomination for the NASA administrator's job, the 62-year-oldSouth Carolina native was employed as the chief executive officer ofJACKandPANTHER LLC, a small business enterprise providing leadership, militaryand aerospace consulting, and motivational speaking.

LikeBolden, Garver's confirmation as deputy administrator marks the second time shehas worked for NASA. Her first stint at the agency was from 1996 to 2001.Initially, she served as a special assistant to the NASA administrator andsenior policy analyst for the Office of Policy and Plans, before becoming theassociate administrator for the Office of Policy and Plans.

A48-year-old Michigan native, Garver earned a bachelor's degree in politicalscience and economics from Colorado College in 1983. Her focus immediatelyturned to space when she accepted a job working for Sen. John Glenn from 1983to 1984.

"I amvery excited about the opportunity to serve under Charlie Bolden'sleadership," Garver said. "My previous five years at NASA exposed meto the incredible talent of the workforce there. The unbelievable achievementsof this team over its 50-year history are unmatched. I look forward to workingwith Charlie and the NASA team to make our agency work as effectively as it canfor the American people."

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