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AEROSPACE EXECUTIVE IS BUSH CHOICE TO LEAD NASA

President Bush on Wednesday named TRW executive Daniel Goldin to head the troubled NASA and "ensure America's leadership in space as we enter the 21st century."

If confirmed by the Senate, Goldin would succeed Richard Truly, who was forced to resign last month.Bush called Goldin "a leader in America's aerospace industry and a man of extraordinary energy and vitality."

"Working with the vice president as chairman of our Space Council, Dan Goldin will assure America's leadership in space as we enter the 21st century," Bush said.

The council's complaints about the direction of the space agency and Truly's stewardship had led to Truly's forced resignation last month, sources said.

"We intend to deploy a space station by end of this decade. We must develop a new launch system that augments the space shuttle and a system that can carry payloads which will give America superiority and flexibility in commercial as well as scientific fields," Bush said.

Truly had been a staunch advocate of the space station, which is reaching the hardware-building stage. It is expected to be in orbit by the end of the decade.

In his announcement, made in the White House press room without the presence of Goldin, the president did not mention a favorite project, establishing a manned base on the moon and sending an astronaut expedition to Mars by the year 2019.

The president said Truly, who had been administrator since 1989, had provided great leadership. Truly had been the first astronaut to head the space agency, and several of NASA's top officials came from the astronaut corps.

Goldin, vice president and general manager of the TRW Space and Technology Group, has broad experience in both national security and commercial space programs. He has worked on such NASA projects as the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System as well as Strategic Defense Initiative-related work.