Daniel Goldin

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Daniel Goldin
Daniel Goldin, official NASA photo.jpg
9th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
In office
April 1, 1992 – November 17, 2001
PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded byRichard H. Truly
Succeeded bySean O'Keefe
Personal details
Daniel Saul Goldin

(1940-07-23) July 23, 1940 (age 80)
New York City
Alma materCity College of New York, B.S. 1962
OccupationPresident & CEO of KnuEdge (formerly Intellisis)

Daniel Saul Goldin (born July 23, 1940) served as the 9th and longest-tenured Administrator of NASA from April 1, 1992, to November 17, 2001. He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and also served under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.


Born in New York City, Goldin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the City College of New York in 1962. He began his career at NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio 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 in Redondo Beach, California. 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.

NASA administrator[edit]

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. More space missions were launched while costs and staffing were reduced.[1] The approach ultimately[when?] 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, Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions, and the International Space Station.[1] 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 was egocentric[clarification needed] and failed to provide a far-sighted focus for NASA other than inherited projects.[citation needed] In press conferences, he often referred to himself in the third person as “the Administrator”. He had his own private jet named “NASA-1”.[2] Additional controversy related to Goldin is found in the 2008 documentary film, Orphans of Apollo.

On Friday 22 May 1992, Goldin announced unexpectedly that the "worm" logo would be replaced by the traditional NASA blue "meatball" logo. 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 infuriated and vulgar whenever he would see a "worm" logo that was not replaced.[3] By 1998 the "worm" logo had entirely disappeared from use both in uniforms and in equipment.

In mid-1999 he and senior Agency leadership created the Decadal Planning Team and its successors, which paved the way[clarification needed] for NASA's contribution to the Vision for Space Exploration.

On November 17, 2001, President George W. Bush accepted Goldin's resignation as NASA administrator. Goldin was replaced first by Daniel S. Mulville (acting 19 November - 21 December 2001) then by Sean O'Keefe (21 December 2001 - 11 February 2005).[4]

After NASA[edit]

Since leaving NASA, Daniel Goldin has been engaged in robotics research at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.[5]

He is the President and CEO of KnuEdge (formerly Intellisis), a company he founded in 2005 that produces neural computing hardware. The company shut down operations in 2018.

In 2003, Goldin was selected to be the ninth president of Boston University, 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."
  • "Never try and eat a baseball, it's never any good."
  • "Go with imagination, ingenuity, and audacity. Explore, discover, change the world, and have fun while you're doing it."
  • "Pure success results from mediocre goals."[6]


  1. ^ a b "Daniel S. Goldin". history.nasa.gov. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ "NASA's Fear of Commercial Flying". Washington Post. December 19, 1994.
  3. ^ "NASA's 'worm' logo is back. But why did it disappear?". CNN. April 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Garber, Todd Messer, Claire Rojstaczer, and Steve. "Biographical and other Personnel Information". history.nasa.gov. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy of Daniel Goldin Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  6. ^ Salute, Joan; Bull, Jeff; Rasky, Dan; Keese, David; Arnold, Jim. "SHARP-B2: Flight Test Objectives, Project Implementation, and Initial Results, p17" (PDF). NASA Technical Reports Server. NASA. Retrieved May 28, 2018.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Government offices
Preceded by
Richard H. Truly
NASA Administrator
1992 - 2001
Succeeded by
Daniel Mulville