Major General Charles Bolden, USMC (Ret.) to Receive the 2020-21 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

The Aero Club of Washington has announced it will join with the National Aeronautic Association to present the prestigious Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy 2020-21 to Major General Charles Bolden, USMC (Ret.) on Friday, December 17, at its annual Wright Memorial Dinner.

Charles F. Bolden Jr.

First as a Marine Corps Major General and then as NASA Administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr. has dedicated his life to the service of the U.S., working to secure our nation’s security, prosperity, and guiding efforts to explore our universe as well as to understand our fragile planet better. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Bolden to be the 12th NASA Administrator, making him only the second astronaut to hold that position. Bolden led the development of the Space Launch System and the Orion Crew Capsule. He also oversaw the shift toward commercial space initiatives handling resupply of the ISS. He created NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, responsible for developing the technology that will make future exploration missions successful.

Bolden’s tenure included the triumph of the Mars Curiosity Rover landing, the success of the Juno mission that is helping us understand the planet Jupiter more completely, increasing the number of satellites tasked with Earth observation tasks, and continuing progress toward the expected 2020 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Not forgetting that the first “A” in NASA stands for Aeronautics, Bolden also focused his attention on NASA’s aeronautics programs and the agency’s goal of developing airplanes that can travel faster, farther, quieter and greener than ever before.

His past honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, three NASA Exceptional Service Medals and four NASA Space Flight Medals. He received the Rotary National Space Trophy in 2014 and holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from numerous institutions of higher education. He was inducted into the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2006 and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2016. He served as a U.S. Department of State Science Envoy for Space from 2018-2019.

Aero Club President Melissa Sabatine added, “Major General Charles Bolden truly captures the excellence of industry and commitment to public service in aviation and aerospace through his extraordinary career and many contributions.  The Board of Governors of the Aero Club of Washington is so pleased to honor him with this distinguished award.”

The Award will be presented at the 2021 Aero Club of Washington’s Annual Wright Memorial Dinner, at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, 999 Ninth Street, NW. For reservations, sponsorships, and event information, please visit: