President Obama has named four-time space shuttle astronaut Charles Bolden, a retired Marine major general, to be the next administrator of NASA.
Lori Garver, a former associate NASA administrator who headed the Obama transition team at the space agency, will be 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 White House announcement issued Saturday morning.
Bolden, 62, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who flew more than 100 A06A Intruder sorties in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War . He commanded two shuttle missions and flew as pilot on two more, including the STS-31 flight in April 1990 that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. He served as assistant deputy administrator of the agency in 1992, and has long been a favorite of many NASA employees for the top job.
Garver, 48, holds a master’s degree in space policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Colorado College. She has worked as executive director of the National Space Society, and most recently as an aerospace consultant in Washington, D.C. From 1998 to 2001 she was associate administrator for policy and plans.
The new NASA leadership will take office as a special review panel headed by Norman Augustine, former Lockheed Martin CEO, begins a review of the agency’s back-to-the-moon human spaceflight program and the vehicles under development to achieve it. That panel is expected to report by the end of August.