Monday , May 10 2021

Interview: Former General of NASA Charles Bolden



Charles Bolden. Image: Nasa / Bill Ingalls

In this episode from the podcast, TechCentral editor Dankan McLeod interviewed by Major-General Charles Bolden, who served as Administrator of the US National Administration for Aeronautics and Space (Nasa) from 2009 until his retirement last year.

Bolden, who is on tour this week in South Africa, has participated in four space flights in his career, spending more than 680 hours outside the Earth's atmosphere. He piloted Space Shuttle Columbia and Space Shuttle Discoveri, and was intimately involved in projects such as the construction of the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope.

A graduate of the US Maritime Academy in 1968 and the retired General of the American Marine Corps, Bolden talks about the main topics of his long career as pilot of the Marine Corps in active duty and how he became an astronaut – something he says he never intended to grow.

He talks about how his persistence led him to be admitted to the American Maritime Academy in the late 1960s – including writing a key letter to former US President Lindon B Johnson – at a time when African Americans were almost impossible to enter the academy.

In the podcast, McLeod asks Bolden about what emotions he passed when – in relation to chances – when he was chosen in 1980 for the astronaut program and what he felt when he first looked back at Earth from the universe.

The former astronaut talks about what he believes is the most important thing Nasa does today and why the search for life on other planets is such a key effort to understand our place in the universe.

It does not matter: this is an interview you do not want to miss.

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