NASA chief to speak at Space Symposium

The current head of NASA will be in Colorado Springs for the Space Symposium, discussing challenges and opportunities facing the space agency.

The symposium, in its 29th year, will attract more than 9,000 visitors April 8-11 at The Broadmoor hotel.

Charles Bolden spent 34 years as a Marine, including 14 years with NASA’s astronaut office, both as an astronaut and in a number of technical assignments. He oversaw safety efforts after the 1986 Challenger accident, and served as lead astronaut for vehicle testing at the Kennedy Space Center.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Bolden flew more than 100 combat missions over North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia while stationed in Thailand from 1972-1973.

During his career, he served as deputy commandant at the U.S. Naval Academy; deputy commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the Pacific; and commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. He was promoted to major general in 1998 and named deputy commander of U.S. Forces in Japan. He served as commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego before retiring from the Marine Corps in 2003.

Prior to becoming NASA Administrator, Bolden was chief executive officer of JACKandPANTHER LLC, a leadership, military and aerospace consulting firm.

Bolden holds a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of the Naval Test Pilot School. His many military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.