August 6th, 2012
In today’s top news, Usain Bolt is the world’s fastest man again, a Syrian prime minister defects and NASA’s rover Curiosity lands on Mars.
NASA’s rover Curiosity landing on Mars is “an unprecedented feat of technology,” says Obama. [CNN]
Lightning strikes twice as Usain Bolt breaks the 100-meter Olympic record again. [Yahoo]
Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab defects. [BBC]
White supremacist Wade Michael Page is named as the Sikh temple gunman. [NPR]
Sanya Richards-Ross redeems past Olympic disappointment with 400-meter gold. [ESPN]
Scotsman Andy Murray overtakes Roger Federer for men’s singles tennis Olympic gold. [WaPo]
Hundreds of Mali citizens attend makeshift militia training camps to oust Islamists. [NYT]
Syrian rebels abduct nearly 50 Iranian pilgrims. [LA Times]
New cases of swine flu have emerged around county fair pigs. [WaPo]
July 16th, 2009
Former astronaut and U.S. Marines Gen. Charles Bolden was confirmed by the U.S. Senate late Wednesday as the first Black administrator of NASA. Shortly after the space shuttle Endeavour blasted off, the unanimous vote was handed down. The launch, toward the International Space Station following five postponed attempts over the past several weeks, coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Bolden, President Obama’s choice to head the American space agency, becomes the 12th NASA administrator since it was created 51 years ago. The former Marine Corps fighter pilot, who flew combat missions in Vietnam, has flown on four space missions – including two he commanded – and previously served for 14 years as a member of the NASA’s Astronaut Office. His first space flight was as a pilot aboard the shuttle Columbia. “Today, we have to choose. Either we can invest in building on our hard-earned world technological leadership or we can abandon this commitment, ceding it to other nations who are working diligently to push the frontiers of space,” said Bolden, 62, in a statement. “If we choose to lead, we must build on our investment in the International Space Station, accelerate development of our next generation launch systems to enable expansion of human exploration, enhance NASA’s capability to study Earth’s environment.” Lori Garver, 48, who was the lead civil space policy advisor to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, was confirmed to take up the agency’s number two job as deputy administrator. It will be her second stint at NASA, where she served as associate administrator from 1998 to 2001.
May 20th, 2009
President Obama is expected to name an African American to head NASA, which would be a first for the U.S. space agency. The leading candidate for the job is former astronaut Charles Bolden, 62, who met with Obama Tuesday, USA Today reports, citing White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Bolden, a retired Marine Corps major general, flew on four Shuttle missions. Bolden has “broad interests, a quick mind and … is a great team-builder,” Joseph Dyer, chairman of NASA’s independent safety panel, told USA Today.
November 26th, 2008
Oldest Black frat gets fat gift from the first Black senator. Sen. Edward Brooke and his wife donated $100,000 to Alpha Phi Alpha, confirmed Darryl R. Matthews, the fraternity’s president. Read the rest here.
A Black NASA pioneer dies. Arthur Thompson, a Black pioneer at NASA’s spaceport, has died. He was 70. Along with his brothers, Alphonso and Raymond, Thompson was among the first African Americans to work at Kennedy Space Center in the 1960s, helping their country race to the moon. He was an engineering technician, running experiments, setting up equipment, collecting data and calculating results for teams of the young aerospace engineers for whom they worked at NASA’s contractor companies. “It was pretty exciting,” recalls his son Anthony Thompson of Winter Park. “It was a first opportunity for a Black man to work in a profession alongside engineers. So, yes, he and his brothers were pioneers.” Thompson died Wednesday of complications from a stroke he suffered last year. He was the fifth of six sons born to a Baptist minister. He and his brothers had owned a TV repair shop in Melbourne before working at NASA.