Saturday , September 25 2021

Interview: Former manager of Nasa Major-General Charles Bolden



Charles Bolden. Image: Nasa / Bill Ingalls

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod interviewed Major General Charles Bolden, who served as the manager of the US Navy's National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) from 2009 until retirement last year.

Bolden, who is on a tour of South Africa this week, took part in four space flights in his career, spending over 680 hours outside the Earth's atmosphere. He ordered both the Columbia Space Shuttle and the Discovery Space Shuttle and has been closely involved in projects such as the construction of the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope.

A graduate of the 1968 US Navy Academy and a retired US Navy General General, Bolden recounts the highlights of his historic career as a pilot of the Marine Corps with an active duty and how he went on to become an astronaut – to grow up.

He talks about how his persistence led him to accept the American Naval Academy in the late 1960s – including writing a critical letter to former US President Lyndon B Johnson – at a time when it was almost impossible for African Americans to enter the academy.

In the podcast, McLeod asks Bolden what emotions he spent when – unlike the odds – when he was chosen in 1980 for the astronaut program and what he felt the first time he looked back on Earth from space.

The former astronaut talks about what he thinks is the most important work Nasa is doing today, and why the search for life on other planets is such an important effort to understand our place in the universe.

It goes without saying: this is an interview you do not want to miss.

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