And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I know that this too is a frustration.

Kohelet 1:17

Daniel Goldin - Biography

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 President William Jefferson 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.

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. The approach ultimately 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. 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 failed to provide a far-sighted focus for NASA other than inherited projects. However, in mid-1999 he and senior Agency leadership quietly created the Decadal Planning Team and its successors, which paved the way for NASA's contribution to the Vision for Space Exploration.

In 1992, Goldin brought back 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 irate whenever he would see a "worm" logo that was not replaced.

On November 17, 2001, President George W. Bush accepted Mr. Goldin's resignation as NASA administrator. Goldin was replaced first by Dr. Daniel S. Mulville (acting 19 Nov - 21 Dec, 2001) and finally by Sean O'Keefe (21 Dec 2001 - Feb 11, 2005). Since leaving NASA, Daniel Goldin has been engaged in robotics research at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.

Near Appointment as President of Boston University

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."
  • "Go with imagination, ingenuity, and audacity. Explore, discover, change the world, and have fun while you're doing it."

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