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PHOTO ESSAY

African Americans in the Space Program

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Mae Jemison

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of NASA.

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Charles F. Bolden Jr. as the Administrator of NASA, making him the first African American to hold that office. As the highest American space authority, Bolden serves as the top advisor to the President on matters relating to exploration and research. With his position, Bolden has achieved another first, this one for all humanity: in 2012, his was the first human voice broadcast on Mars. Looking forward to what he says is now NASA's main goal—landing humans on Mars—Bolden's recorded message states, "Curiosity will bring benefits to Earth and inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers, as it prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future."
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