While heading NASA, Bolden oversaw the transition from the space shuttle system to a new era of exploration, fully focused on the International Space Station (ISS) and aeronautics technology development. A veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 680 hours in space. He logged more than 6,000 hours flying time. Bolden was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1980. , Bolden said his agency's long-term ambition is landing astronauts on Mars. Bolden led the development of the Space Launch System and the Orion Crew Capsule. From 2000 to 2002, he was the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. He flew more than 100 sorties into North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the A-6A Intruder while assigned to VMA(AW)-533 at Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong, Thailand, from June 1972 to June 1973.. Following 75 orbits of Earth in 121 hours, Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base on April 29, 1990. He served as a U.S. Department of State Science Envoy for Space from 2018-2019. On STS-61-C, Bolden piloted Space Shuttle Columbia. The couple have two children, Anthony Che and Kelly Michelle. He was a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps until 1994 when he returned to assignments in the Marine Corps, first as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, effective June 27, 1994. He then served as the Commanding General, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, from August 9, 2000, until August 2002. From February to June of 1998, Bolden was the Commanding General of I MEF in Operation Desert Thunder, Kuwait. Bolden is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. And so the problem is I haven't been far enough away.
", On the same day, at a question and answer session with employees at the Johnson Space Center, Bolden compared the Constellation Program to a stillborn baby calf extracted from a camel's womb by U.S. Marines. From February to June 1998, he served as Commanding General, I MEF (Forward) in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. He piloted Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 (STS-61C) and Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990 (STS-31) – the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. In July 1998, he was promoted to his final rank of major general and assumed his duties as the Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan. Upon returning to the United States in 1973, Bolden held various Marine Corps assignments at the Marine Corps Air Stations in Los Angeles and El Toro, California. They have two children, A. Che Bolden, Colonel, USMC (retired), Dr. Kelly Bolden, MD, and three grandchildren, Mikaley, Kyra and Talia. Bolden also had a long and distinguished military career. Bolden also served as Chief of NASA’s Safety Division at the Johnson Space Center in the wake of 1986’s Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., NASA’s first permanent black administrator, was born to Charles Frank and Ethel Bolden, both teachers, on August 19th, 1946 in Columbia, South Carolina. They have two children, A. Che Bolden, Colonel, USMC (retired), Dr. Kelly Bolden, MD, and three grandchildren, Mikaley, Kyra and Talia. In June 1979, he graduated from the United States Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland and was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center's Systems Engineering and Strike Aircraft Test Directorates. Bolden also oversaw the shift toward commercial space initiatives handling resupply of the ISS. During his career as a NASA astronaut, Bolden flew on four space shuttle missions, logging over 680 hours in space. Charles Bolden married Alexis (Jackie) Walker in 1968. A graduate of the U.S.
He was president of his class. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Selected by NASA in May 1980, Bolden became an astronaut in August 1981. Bolden was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps following graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1968. First as a Marine Corps Major General and then as NASA Administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr. has dedicated his life to the service of the United States, working to secure our nation’s security, prosperity, and guiding efforts to explore our universe and better understand our fragile planet. Bolden is married to the former Alexis Walker of Columbia, SC. During the six-day flight, crew members deployed the SATCOM Ku band satellite and conducted experiments in astrophysics and materials processing. Bolden piloted Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-31.
California, Dec. 23, 2009; Not forgetting that the first “A” in NASA stands for Aeronautics, Bolden also focused his attention on NASA’s aeronautics programs and the agency’s goal of developing airplanes that can travel faster, farther, quieter, and greener than ever before.  He has cited spending cuts as a concern for major NASA projects. While there, he served as an ordnance test pilot and flew numerous test projects in the A-6E, EA-6B, and A-7C/E airplanes. After completing his flight training, he became a Naval Aviator in May of 1970. Bolden graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1964. The New York Times, 26 May 2009; http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/charles_f_bolden_jr/index.html; In 1980, Bolden was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA and became an astronaut in 1981. Upon returning to the United States, Bolden began a two-year tour as a Marine Corps officer selection and recruiting officer in Los Angeles, California, followed by three years in various assignments at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California. He also served as Mission Commander on Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1992 (STS-45), and Space Shuttle Discovery in 1994 (STS-60). Bolden’s tenure included the triumph of the Mars Curiosity Rover landing, the success of the Juno mission that is helping us understand the planet Jupiter more completely, increasing the number of satellites tasked with Earth observation tasks, and continuing progress toward the expected 2021 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. In 1968, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Science from the United States Naval Academy.
 Bolden is a Christian, stating in a question and answer session in May 2010: "You know, the universe is a big place.
, In 2009, President Obama appointed Bolden to be administrator of NASA.
He underwent flight training at Pensacola, Florida, Meridian, Mississippi, and Kingsville, Texas, before being designated a Naval Aviator in May 1970.
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