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Black History Month: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

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NASA Adminstrator Charles Bolden is a Columbia native, born in 1946 and is a graduate of C A Johnson High School and the US Naval Academy. He served in the Marine Corps retiring with the rank of Major General. Bolden became a member of the Astronaut corps in 1980 and served for fourteen years. During that period, 1980-1994, he flew four missions on the Space Shuttle. His most notable mission was that which launched the Hubble Telescope in 1990. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2003.

President Barack Obama nominated Bolden to be theNASA administrator and he assumed that office on July 17th, 2009. Prior to that, he had served as Assistant Deputy Administrator, among other posts.

While Bolden is a resident of Houston, he has been generous to his native state. He has donated several flight suits, helmets and other mementos to the South Carolina State Museum. Prior to the Museum's contruction project, these artifacts were on exhibit on the museum’s science floor. Also, Bolden hasn’t been forgotten by the home folks; a stretch of I-77 in Northeast Richland County has been named for him. Bolden also spoke at the October, 2012 groundbreaking for the new facilities at the State Museum.

Those who drive on Two Notch Road in Columbia may notice signs for Charles Bolden Stadium near C.A. Johnson High School. This is named for Bolden’s father who was the football coach there.

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