Charles F. Bolden

Charles Bolden
Charles Bolden
(NASA photo)

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The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation has selected NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden to receive the 2014 National Space Trophy.

NASA Administrator Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 12th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He began his duties as head of the agency on July 17, 2009.

As Administrator, Bolden leads a nationwide NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the U.S. space program.

During Bolden's tenure, the agency's science activities include an unprecedented landing on Mars with the Curiosity rover, launch of a spacecraft to Jupiter, enhancing the nation's fleet of Earth-observing satellites, and continued progress toward the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

A veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 680 hours in space. Bolden served as pilot on STS-61-C (January 12 - 18, 1986) and STS-31 (April 24 - 29, 1990), and was the mission commander on STS-45 (March 24, 1992 - April 2, 1992), and STS-60 (February 3-11, 1994).

Bolden earned a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977. In 1978, he was assigned to the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md., and completed his training in 1979.

Bolden's 34-year career with the Marine Corps also included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. Bolden's military decorations include the Navy Astronaut Badge, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (1 award star), Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), Air Medal (1 award star and Strike/Flight numeral 8), NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2 award stars), NASA Space Flight Medal (3 award stars), Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal (1 service star), Vietnam Service Medal (2 service stars), Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

On August 28, 2012, Bolden was the first human to have his voice broadcast on the surface of Mars or any other planet. Although the Curiosity rover has no speakers, it received the transmission of his voice and then beamed it back to Earth.

Bolden is married to the former Alexis (Jackie) Walker of Columbia, South Carolina. Their family consists of son Che', a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, daughter-in-law Penelope "Penny" Jan McDougle from Sydney, Australia, three granddaughters, Mikaley, Kyra, and Yalia, and daughter Kelly Michelle, a plastic surgeon at the Howard University Hospital in Washington.

Current as of January 2014

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