NASA

Biden to nominate Bill Nelson to head NASA: reports

Stefani Reynolds

President Biden reportedly will nominate former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) to run NASA, according to multiple media outlets.

The Verge reported Thursday that Nelson had been tapped as the new NASA administrator, citing three unnamed sources close to the decision.

The Washington Post reported that Nelson would be tapped for the NASA position as well, citing “multiple people with knowledge of the matter.”

Nelson, 78, served for three terms as Florida’s senator before he was unseated by then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2018. In 1986, he became the second member of Congress to embark on space travel as a “payload specialist” on the Space Shuttle Columbia.

In 2019, Nelson was recognized by NASA as “the leading space program advocate in Congress” and was instrumental in passing a bill that called for the development of commercial spaceflights in 2010.

However, despite the reports, White House press secretary Jen Psaki offered no comment when asked about the nomination Thursday.

Biden’s nominee will replace Jim Bridenstine, former President Trump’s pick to lead the agency, who stepped down in January. Bridenstine’s appointment was opposed by Nelson, who at the time, said: “The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician.”

Bridenstine faced controversy due to his views on climate change, but was most known during his time as administrator for developing the Artemis Program, which aims to have the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024.

Tags Bill Nelson Donald Trump Jen Psaki Jim Bridenstine Joe Biden

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