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Picture of Charles F. Bolden Jr.
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1996
Charles F. Bolden Jr.: Profile

As a youngster, Charles F. Bolden Jr. never dreamed of becoming an astronaut, speeding above the earth at 17,500 miles per hour. "I thought astronauts were supermen," Bolden said. "Becoming one seemed beyond the realm of possibility."

But Bolden's parents told him nothing was impossible if he had the desire and skills to succeed. Despite his doubts, Bolden proved his parents to be correct by graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, and becoming a Marine combat pilot, test pilot, and ultimately, an astronaut. Bolden flew four missions on the space shuttle, serving as mission commander on his final two flights.

"Looking out the window at the beautiful blue earth below helps place things in perspective," Bolden said. "You get an idea of how God might have felt after the Creation."

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