Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bolden in, Griffin out?

Maj. Gen. Charles Frank "Charlie" Bolden, Jr. is a 63-year-old retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who served from 1981 to 1994 as an astronaut. A 1968 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he became a Marine aviator and test pilot. After his time with NASA, he became deputy commandant of midshipmen at the naval academy.

Bolden was asked during an online chat this afternoon organized by the Conrad Foundation about reports that he might be Obama's pick to head NASA. Bolden replied that while he's "incredibly honored" that his name has been attached to the reports, he has not been approached by the transition team about the job.

Bolden's name, however, has been shopped around by Obama transition team members to various space industry leaders in recent days to gauge their reaction. He is also reportedly being championed by Sen. Nelson. Nelson could not be reached for comment, though a spokesman said that the senator regards him as a "top notch" individual.

Other names that the Obama team has been mulling over include, Scott Hubbard of Stanford University, a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and leader of the re-examination of the Vision for Space Exploration; Wesley Huntress at the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institute; Dr. Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut; and Dr. Alan Stern, a planetary scientist who once worked at NASA running robotic missions to other planets.

The current head of Obama’s transition team, Lori Garver, is hoping to be deputy administrator.

Read more HERE.

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