NBC news is reporting former astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr. will meet with President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday morning and likely will be appointed the new NASA administrator. NASA has been without an administrator since January, and needs leadership as it faces big changes in the next few years, including the retirement of the space shuttle and the development of replacement vehicles to send humans to space. Bolden has flown four times to space, with more than 680 hours in Earth orbit. If appointed, he would be the first African-American administrator at NASA.
Bolden is regarded as a quiet man but not shy. He made his first spaceflight 23 years ago, and flew on the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.
Florida senator Bill Nelson flew in space with Bolden in 1986, just before the Challenger tragedy. “Charlie’s credentials are top-notch,” Nelson said. Former administrator Michael Griffin said Bolden would be “perfect” for the job.