By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst
May 28, 2009 â€“ President Obama is on a roll this week beginning with the nomination of the first Latino to fill a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and following up withÂ naming Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr. as the first African American to headÂ NASA.
Bolden will fill a post that has been vacant since January 20th, and will face a tough jobÂ at the space agency.Â The once fearless agency has been hit hard by budget limitations, the lack of a comprehensive strategy for space travel and waning interest in space travel overall by the general public.
Bolden, a former marine General and Space Shuttle pilot, will need to determine what NASA will do next, establish priorities and get the agencyâ€™s public relations back on track.
This appointment will add another â€śfirstâ€ť to the space veteran’s resume.Â The former Marine aviator was also the “first” African-American shuttle pilot.Â This appointment comes a week after NASA sent a team to space to work on the Hubble Space Telescope. A mission Bolden knows too well.Â He flew the space shuttle on four missions, including the one that released the telescope into orbit.Â
The Congressional Black Caucus is pleased with Obamaâ€™s choice.Â â€śGen. Bolden has a long and distinguished rĂ©sumĂ© of military and NASA experience including flying more than 100 sorties in Vietnam and flying two space shuttle missions as pilot and two missions as commander,â€ť Rep. Barbara Lee, chairwoman of the Caucus said.
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