WASHINGTON – Ending months of speculation, the White House announced early May 23 that U.S. President Barack Obama intends to nominate former space shuttle astronaut Charles Bolden to become NASA administrator.

Lori Garver, a Washington-based aerospace consultant and former NASA official who advised the Obama campaign on space matters, was named Bolden’s deputy. Both posts require Senate confirmation.

Bolden, a retired U.S. Marine Corps major general, met with Obama at the White House May 19 to discuss the job.

NASA’s deputy assistant administrator for public affairs, Bob Jacobs, used the microblogging service Twitter to spread the word about the announcement.

“WH [White House] just announced intent to nominate Bolden as NASA Administrator and Garver as Deputy Administrator. More details coming,” Jacobs wrote on his Twitter page around 8:45 a.m., May 23, just a few minutes after NASA mission control decided to postpone Space Shuttle Atlantis’ landing another day to because of poor weather at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...