Not all of President Barack Obama's picks are controversial. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Mr. Obama tapped a former space shuttle commander to lead NASA through the next phase of its remarkable journey.
Charles Bolden, 62, is a solid choice to guide the agency through what is expected to be another decade of economic and technological challenges. With the aging shuttle fleet scheduled to be mothballed in the next two years, Commander Bolden will have to chart a new direction for the world's oldest and most prestigious space agency that recognizes its budget constraints.
Mr. Bolden has distinguished himself as a veteran of four shuttle missions -- twice as commander. During his 1990 command, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in space. It has been paying rich dividends ever since.
Mr. Bolden also will be the first African American to run NASA. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Southern California, Mr. Bolden flew 100 combat missions in Vietnam. When he joined NASA in 1980, he was already considered an experienced leader.
Mr. Bolden will be an effective advocate for the agency just as Congress and a financially strapped president move to make cuts in NASA's budget.