NASA chief speaks at King Day event

Retired Marine Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr.
Retired Marine Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr.

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) - The head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration says the space shuttle provided opportunities for minorities and women to fly in space.

In remarks prepared for a Martin Luther King Jr. event in Charleston on Tuesday, retired Marine Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr. said the shuttle helped break down segregation without the passage of a single law. The Columbia native says nearly 400 people have flown on the shuttle with distinction and honor, some giving their lives in the endeavor.

Bolden is black and flew four times on the shuttle. He says he has a debt to King and says his career would not have been possible without King's work.

Bolden speaks later Tuesday in his native Columbia.

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