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FORMER ASTRONAUT AND DEPUTY COMMANDANT OF NAVAL ACADEMY TO SPEAK

CHARLESTON, S.C.,(Feb. 21)--U.S. Marine Corps Col. (Brig. Gen. selectee) Charles F. Bolden Jr., astronaut and deputy commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy, will address the Corps of Cadets as a Greater Issues Speaker at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at McAlister Field House on The Citadel's campus. The address is free and the public is invited to attend.

     Before joining the U.S. Naval Academy as deputy commandant in July 1994, Bolden served aboard four space shuttle missions. Selected by NASA in 1980, Bolden became an astronaut in 1981 and qualified as a pilot on space shuttle flight crews. Since then, he has flown four space shuttle missions. During his first mission on board the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986, the crew successfully deployed the SATCOM KU satellite and conducted experiments in astrophysics and materials processing.

     Aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, Bolden and the crew deployed the Hubble Space Telescope, conducted a variety of middeck experiments and used a variety of cameras, including both the IMAX in cabin and cargo bay cameras for Earth observations from a record-setting altitude of more than 400 miles.

     On his third mission in 1992, he commanded the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the first Spacelab mission dedicated to NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. During the nine-day mission, the crew operated twelve experiments which constituted ATLAS-1 (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science) cargo. ATLAS-1 obtained a vast array of detailed measurements of the Earth's atmospheric chemical and physical properties, which contributed to a greater understanding of our climate and atmosphere.

     In 1994, Bolden commanded a six-member crew on the Space Shuttle Discovery. The eight-day mission was the first joint U.S./Russian Space Shuttle mission, involving the participation of a Russian Cosmonaut as a mission specialist crew member. The crew conducted a series of joint U.S./Russian science activities and carried the Space Habitation Module-2 and the Wake Shield Facility-01. The mission achieved 130 orbits of the earth before landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Upon completion of this fourth mission, Bolden has logged more than 680 hours in space.

     A native of Columbia, Bolden received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968 and a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977.

     Bolden accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. He completed flight training at Pensacola, Fla., Meridian, Miss., and Kingsville, Texas, before being designated a naval aviator in May 1970. He flew more than 100 missions into North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the A-6A Intruder while assigned to VMA(AW)-533 at Nam Phong, Thailand, June 1972 through June 1973.

     He was graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md., in 1979 and was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center's Systems Engineering and Strike Aircraft Directorates. While there, he served as an ordnance test pilot and flew numerous test projects in the A-6E, EA-6B and A- 7C/E aircraft. He has logged more than 6,000 hours of flying time.

     The CitadeL's Greater Issues Series provides an opportunity for many of the nation's leaders to address the Corps of Cadets concerning national and international issues that are shaping the United States and the world. The series was inaugurated by Gen. Mark Clark in 1954 and has since then brought an impressive group of distinguished speakers including Presidents of the United States, American and foreign dignitaries, scholars, important military figures, business leaders and many others.

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