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New NASA leaders Bolden and Garver confirmed by Senate

Charles Bolden, Lori GarverCharles Bolden and Lori Garver, President Barack Obama's selections to lead NASA, were confirmed as administrator and deputy administrator for the space agency, respectively, by the Senate yesterday.

Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who knows Bolden from a 1986 space shuttle mission and who has campaigned tirelessly for his flight mate, promised via Twitter that "Charlie will bring back the magic from a time when we rode rockets to the moon." Bolden is "perfect to keep America leading in space, science and technology," Nelson also tweeted.

Bolden, 62, and Garver, 48, are both NASA veterans who raised few eyebrows when nominated, and neither faced a thorny confirmation process. Bolden is a retired marine corps major general and four-time shuttle flier who has held various positions at NASA and was once up for the number-two job now being assumed by Garver. That nomination was withdrawn by the Bush administration in 2002 to prevent moving a high-ranking military officer into a civilian post during wartime.

Garver last worked for the space agency in 2001, when she was associate administrator in the policy and planning office. Since then she has been a space consultant, and she headed the Obama transition team's review group.

In a statement, Bolden spoke of accelerating development of a replacement for the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle, reinforcing the U.S. position as a leader in space, and inspiring "a rising generation of boys and girls to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and math."

Photo of Bolden and Garver testifying at their Senate confirmation hearing last week: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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