Daniel Saul Goldin served as the 9th and longest-tenured Administrator of NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...
from April 1, 1992, to November 17, 2001. He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...
and also served under President William Jefferson Clinton and George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....
CareerBorn in New York City, Goldin earned a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...
degree in mechanical engineering from the City College of New York
City College of New York
The City College of the City University of New York is a senior college of the City University of New York , in New York City. It is also the oldest of the City University's twenty-three institutions of higher learning...
in 1962. He began his career at NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...
that year, and worked on electric propulsion systems for human interplanetary travel.
Goldin left NASA a few years later to work at the TRW Space and Technology Group
TRW Inc. was an American corporation involved in a variety of businesses, mainly aerospace, automotive, and credit reporting. It was a pioneer in multiple fields including electronic components, integrated circuits, computers, software and systems engineering. TRW built many spacecraft,...
in Redondo Beach, California
Redondo Beach, California
Redondo Beach is one of the three Beach Cities located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 66,748 at the 2010 census, up from 63,261 at the 2000 census. The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area.Redondo Beach was originally part of...
. During a 25-year career at TRW, Goldin eventually became Vice President and General Manager and led projects that conceptualized and produced advanced communication spacecraft, space technologies, and scientific instruments.
When Goldin returned to NASA as administrator, he pioneered the "faster, better, cheaper" approach that proposed NASA could cut costs while still delivering a wide variety of aerospace programs. The approach ultimately proved controversial with the loss of several missions to Mars due to project management failures. During his administration, Goldin supervised projects such as the Mars Pathfinder
Mars Pathfinder was an American spacecraft that landed a base station with roving probe on Mars in 1997. It consisted of a lander, renamed the Carl Sagan Memorial Station, and a lightweight wheeled robotic rover named Sojourner.Launched on December 4, 1996 by NASA aboard a Delta II booster a...
, Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4 meter aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared...
servicing missions, and the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...
. Goldin initially promoted a low-cost manned lunar project, but following the 1996 announcement that evidence had been found of biological activity in Martian meteorite ALH-84001, the focus was shifted to unmanned Mars probes.
A criticism of Goldin's administration is that he failed to provide a far-sighted focus for NASA other than inherited projects. However, in mid-1999 he and senior Agency leadership quietly created the Decadal Planning Team
Decadal Planning Team
The NASA Decadal Planning Team and its successor, the NASA Exploration Team , were influential behind-the-scenes efforts to develop a major new direction for the space agency early in the 21st Century....
and its successors, which paved the way for NASA's contribution to the Vision for Space Exploration
Vision for Space Exploration
The Vision for Space Exploration is the United States space policy which was announced on January 14, 2004 by President George W. Bush. It is seen as a response to the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the state of human spaceflight at NASA, and a way to regain public enthusiasm for space...
In 1992, Goldin brought back the traditional NASA blue "meatball" logo
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo has three main official designs, although the one with stylized red curved text has been retired from official use since 1992...
. It had been replaced in 1975 by the NASA red "worm" logo. By 1997, Goldin had started a largely successful campaign within NASA to eradicate the "worm". He would become irate whenever he would see a "worm" logo that was not replaced.
On November 17, 2001, President George W. Bush accepted Mr. Goldin's resignation as NASA administrator. Goldin was replaced first by Dr. Daniel S. Mulville (acting 19 Nov - 21 Dec, 2001) and finally by Sean O'Keefe
Sean O'Keefe is the CEO of EADS North America, a subsidiary of the European aerospace firm EADS, a former Administrator of NASA, and former chancellor of Louisiana State University . O'Keefe is also a former member of the board of directors of DuPont...
(21 Dec 2001 - Feb 11, 2005). Since leaving NASA, Daniel Goldin has been engaged in robotics research at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.
Near Appointment as President of Boston UniversityIn 2003, Goldin was selected to be the ninth president of Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...
, but his contract was terminated a day before he took office at a cost of $1.8 million.
- "My eyeball kept getting distorted more and more, so I became more and more nearsighted. At that time, if you had a detached retina due to the buildup of pressure on the eye you could go blind. In the Bronx, you played stickball and baseball and basketball in the school yard. I wasn't allowed to do that and I became different than my friends. I was self conscious. I wanted to be like them but I was forced by health reasons to be different."
- "The only thing I wanted to work on in my life was space. I would do it any way I could."
- "Go with imagination, ingenuity, and audacity. Explore, discover, change the world, and have fun while you're doing it."
- NASA biography of Daniel Saul Goldin
- Goldin Stands by 'Faster, Better, Cheaper' Credo - by Alex Canizares