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Charles F. Bolden Jr. was selected as an astronaut in 1980. During his 14 years as an astronaut, the South Carolina native logged more than 680 hours in space during four space shuttle missions, twice as commander and twice as a pilot. His missions included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, the first SPACELAB “mission to planet Earth” to study our atmosphere, and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a cosmonaut as a member of his crew. In 1994, Bolden returned to operational duty in the Marine Corps, retiring as a Major General after 34 years of service. He has received many honors including the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2009, Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the twelfth NASA Administrator, leading the space agency in its vision to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humanity. Bolden retired as NASA Administrator on Jan. 20, 2017.

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