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Scott Gration reportedly tapped for top NASA post

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Retired Air Force major general Scott Gration has been asked to head NASA under President-elect Barack Obama, Space News and AFP are reporting. The news agencies each cite an unnamed source in pointing to Gration, an early Obama supporter who stumped for the candidate and gave military cred to the campaign.

Gration, who retired from the Air Force in 2006, voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, according to a 2007 Newsweek profile of him. He was reportedly won over by Sen. Obama during a 2006 congressional delegation to Africa; Gration was raised by missionary parents in the Congo. His stature in the campaign became such that he was selected to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August, where he touted Obama's leadership qualities.

The media has been floating various potential picks for the space agency post. Last week we reported on the rumored consideration being given to former astronaut Charles Bolden, a veteran of four shuttle missions and a retired marine. Gration, who would be a relative newcomer to NASA, holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., and a master's in national security studies from Georgetown University, according to his Air Force bio.

Gration portrait courtesy USAF

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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