NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr., retired U.S. Marine Corps major general and former astronaut, has been named recipient of the 2014 National Space Trophy by the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation.
The presentation will be made April 11 at the Houston Downtown Hyatt Regency at the annual Rotary Space Banquet, with the public and members of the aerospace community invited to attend.
Bolden was nominated by Col. Robert Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center and former astronaut, and by NASA Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Communications Robert Jacobs.
Cabana nominated Bolden for his “many years of dedicated service and exceptional leadership through an extremely challenging transition in America’s space program, establishing NASA’s exploration architecture for the future, and enabling successful commercial operations to low Earth orbit,” while Jacobs nominated Bolden for his “dedication to public service, leadership, and contributions to aeronautics and aerospace throughout a distinguished military and civilian career.”
Rodolfo González, RNASA Foundation president said, “We are very pleased with the selection of the board of advisors and look forward to celebrating General Bolden’s exemplary service.”
“I am humbled by this selection and will be extremely honored to attend the RNASA Gala in April to accept this award on behalf of the entire NASA-Contractor Team I am privileged to lead,” Bolden said.
Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 12th NASA administrator. He began his duties as head of the agency 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 (Jan. 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 (Feb. 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 Corps and also included many military decorations.
On Aug. 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, S.C. Their family consists of son Che`, a lieutenant colonel in the 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.
Tables to the banquet may be reserved online at www.rnasa.org/tables.html