July 16, 2009

Bolden becomes NASA’s 12th administrator

The U.S. Senate has confirmed former astronaut Charles Frank Bolden Jr. as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's 12th leader.

Lori Beth Garver was confirmed as the space agency's deputy administrator.

NASA said Bolden's confirmation marks the beginning of his second stint with NASA. His 34-year career with the U.S. Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. After joining NASA in 1980, he traveled into 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.

The 62-year-old South Carolina native earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. He completed flight training in 1970 and became a naval aviator, serving as a combat pilot in Southeast Asia and later, as a test pilot. Bolden retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 with the rank of major general.

Garver worked for NASA from 1996 to 2001, serving as a special assistant to the NASA administrator and senior policy analyst for the Office of Policy and Plans, before becoming the associate administrator for the Office of Policy and Plans. As deputy administrator, Garver, a 48-year-old Michigan native, will be responsible for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for the agency.

Bolden's biography is available at http://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/bolden_bio.html.

Garver's biography can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/garver_bio.html.