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Charles Bolden

W&M grad still looks to distant planets for answers

The selection of former NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan as the first woman director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., reverberates around the campus of the College of William and Mary and in Williamsburg.

Stofan is a William and Mary graduate who retained close ties to her alma mater. As chief scientist at NASA and principal adviser to the agency’s administrator Charles Bolden on NASA’s strategic planning and programs, she has been instrumental in developing long-term plans to get humans to Mars.

Considering her achievements as NASA”s chief scientist, I asked her about her plans to incorporate the National Air and Space Museum into the...