It’s , Astronaut Bill Nelson is NASA’s new Administrator – Universe Today

On March 19th, 2021, the Administration introduced that they’d nominated a successor for the function of NASA Administrator. Their nominee was Sen. Clarence William Nelson II (aka. Invoice Nelson), a Democratic Senator from Florida, an legal professional, and a former payload specialist at NASA. On Monday, May 3rd, he assumed the function of 14th NASA Administrator throughout a ceremony the place he was given the oath of workplace.

Harris, who just lately took over as chair of the National Space Council (NSC) from outgoing VP Mike Pence, delivered the oath to Nelon throughout a ceremony on the VP workplace within the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB). They had been joined through video convention by former administrator Bridenstine and in-person by Nelson’s household and Charles F. Bolden – who served as NASA Administrator from 2009 and 2017.

“Congratulations, Mr. Administrator, for all of the work you’ve carried out and all you’ve devoted to our nation,” stated Vice President Harris. “I couldn’t agree extra that this needs to be about our nation and what’s greatest for our nation, unencumbered by partisan politics, however based mostly on what we all know is the appropriate factor to do.”

Senator Invoice Nelson on the ceremony the place Nelson was sworn in because the 14th NASA Administrator. Credit score: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

In a speech delivered after he took the oath, Nelson stated:

“It’s an honor to be sworn in by Vice President Harris to function NASA administrator, and I sit up for a continued, sturdy relationship along with her as chair of the Nationwide Area Council. I need to thank Steve Jurczyk for his management as Performing Administrator over the previous few months, serving to to hold out the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities and make sure the success of NASA’s targets and missions. You’ve seen the unbelievable accomplishments at NASA over the previous 100 or so days – the proof is within the pudding.”

The NSC was reactivated in 2017, the announcement of which coincided with the disclosing of the Trump administration’s house coverage (which emphasised a return to the Moon). The NSC was initially based in 1958 with the passing of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which referred to as for the creation of NASA and established the Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Council (NASC) – later renamed the NSC.

Additionally in attendance was Colonel Pam Melroy, a member of the Nationwide Area Council’s Customers Advisory Group, a former U.S. Air Drive check pilot and astronaut, and one in every of solely three girls to command a Area mission. Melroy was recently nominated by the Biden administration for the function of NASA deputy administrator. Nelson acknowledged her and the opposite attendees who’ve performed an important function within the continuation of NASA’s efforts in house:

“I used to be glad to be joined right now by my rock, my spouse, Grace, my kids, deputy administrator nominee Col. Pam Melroy, and former NASA Directors Charlie Bolden and Jim Bridenstine, whose with me symbolizes the continuity of objective and bipartisanship. It’s an unbelievable for the aerospace sector, and I’m excited to steer NASA’s workforce into an thrilling future!”

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. Credit: NASA

Nelson is eminently certified for the function, given his in depth historical past with NASA and the way in which he has been integral to lots of the constructive steps taken by the company. In 1986, Nelson flew Area Shuttle Columbia the place he was the payload specialist and Charles Bolden was the pilot. As a part of the STS-61C mission, Nelson carried out 12 medical experiments (together with the primary American house stress check) and a university-sponsored most cancers analysis experiment.

Between 2001 and 2019, Nelson represented Florida’s ninth and 11th districts within the US Home of Representatives. Throughout that point, he distinguished himself as being the main advocate for house applications in Congress. In 2010, he criticized the Obama administration’s determination to fully terminate Project Constellation. This program was initiated in 2005 to develop a brand new technology of heavy launch automobiles to interchange the growing old Area Shuttle.

Later that yr, when the Obama administration declared its dedication to charting a brand new course for the way forward for NASA in house, Nelson and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) collaborated to go the NASA Authorization Act. This landmark laws approved appropriations for NASA for the following three , mandated the retirement of the Area Shuttle by 2011, and established goals for the following twenty years.

Amongst them was the event of the Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft, an Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) by 2021, and a crewed mission to Mars by the 2030s. In 2017, Nelson and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) authored the NASA Transition Authorization Act, which approved transitional funding for NASA’s long-term targets and expanded their business actions in house. 

Former Senator Invoice Nelson, speaks to media after he was ceremonially sworn-in because the 14th NASA Administrator by Vice President Kamala Harris. Credit score: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

Previous to his nomination, Nelson was a member-at-large with the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), a physique made up of choose residents that gives NASA with recommendation and steerage on main program and coverage points. He additionally served as the top of the Home’s Subcommittee on Science and Space for six years earlier than turning into the rating member on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Nelson was confirmed as the following NASA Administrator by the US Senate on April 29th. Mentioned performing NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk concerning the determination:

“I’m completely satisfied to welcome Invoice to the NASA household. It’s been an incredible yr for NASA and our business and worldwide companions, and I sit up for working with Invoice and the Biden-Harris Administration to construct on the unbelievable momentum we’ve constructed to date. It has been an honor to function performing administrator, but it surely’s the NASA workforce that makes the company one-of-a-kind. Thanks for all you do to advance NASA’s essential missions.”

In his new function at NASA, Nelson will probably be accountable for guiding the nation’s house program at a extremely essential juncture. In lower than three years, NASA intends to land the “first girl and subsequent man” on the Moon as a part of the Artemis Program. Within the meantime, there’s nonetheless a lot to carried out, which incorporates getting the SLS prepared for launch-testing and ironing out the authorized disputes over who will get to construct the Human Touchdown System (SLS).

As well as, Nelson will oversee the growth of local weather change analysis, fostering innovation, and enhancing NASA’s outreach efforts to the enterprise, analysis, manufacturing, and STEM schooling sectors. The approaching years are going to be fairly turbulent as NASA grapples with a number of challenges. It’s encouraging to know {that a} seasoned veteran will probably be on the helm.

Additional Studying: NASA

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