Obama picks Charles Bolden to lead NASA

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President Barack Obama has chosen former U.S. shuttle commander Charles Bolden to lead the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the White House announced Saturday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Bolden would be the space agency’s first African-American administrator and and the second astronaut to hold the post.

The retired Marine Corps general flew on four space shuttle missions and commanded the first shuttle mission to include a Russian cosmonaut as part of the crew.

Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator for policy and plans and a space policy advisor to the Obama campaign, will serve as Bolden’s deputy.

“These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of America’s space program,” Obama said in a statement.