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

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

Harris, who 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 have been joined by way of video convention by former administrator Bridenstine and in-particular person by Nelson’s household and Charles F. Bolden – who served as NASA Administrator from 2009 and 2017.
“Congratulations, Mr. Administrator, for all the work you’ve done and all you’ve dedicated to our country,” stated Vice President Harris. “I couldn’t agree more that this has to be about our nation and what is best for our nation, unencumbered by partisan politics, but based on what we know is the right thing to do.”
Senator Bill Nelson on the ceremony the place Nelson was sworn in because the 14th NASA Administrator. Credit: NASA/Aubrey GemignaniIn a speech delivered after he took the oath, Nelson stated:
“It’s an honor to be sworn in by Vice President Harris to serve as NASA administrator, and I look forward to a continued, strong relationship with her as chair of the National Space Council. I want to thank Steve Jurczyk for his leadership as Acting Administrator over the past few months, helping to carry out the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities and ensure the success of NASA’s goals and missions. You’ve seen the incredible accomplishments at NASA over the past 100 or so days – the proof is in the pudding.”
The NSC was reactivated in 2017, the announcement of which coincided with the revealing 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 known as for the creation of NASA and established the National Aeronautics and Space Council (NASC) – later renamed the NSC.
Also in attendance was Colonel Pam Melroy, a member of the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group, a former U.S. Air Force check pilot and astronaut, and considered one of solely three girls to command a Space Shuttle mission. Melroy was lately nominated by the Biden administration for the position of NASA deputy administrator. Nelson acknowledged her and the opposite attendees who’ve performed an important position within the continuation of NASA’s efforts in house:
“I was glad to be joined today by my rock, my wife, Grace, my children, deputy administrator nominee Col. Pam Melroy, and former NASA Administrators Charlie Bolden and Jim Bridenstine, whose standing with me symbolizes the continuity of purpose and bipartisanship. It’s an incredible time for the aerospace sector, and I’m excited to lead NASA’s workforce into an exciting future!”
Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. Credits: NASANelson is eminently certified for the position, given his intensive historical past with NASA and the best way he has been integral to most of the optimistic steps taken by the company. In 1986, Nelson flew Space 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 college-sponsored most cancers analysis experiment.
Between 2001 and 2019, Nelson represented Florida’s ninth and 11th districts within the US House of Representatives. During that point, he distinguished himself as being the main advocate for house packages 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 new technology of heavy launch automobiles to switch the getting old Space Shuttle.
Later that 12 months, when the Obama administration declared its dedication to charting a new course for the way forward for NASA in house, Nelson and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) collaborated to cross the NASA Authorization Act. This landmark laws licensed appropriations for NASA for the following three years, mandated the retirement of the Space Shuttle by 2011, and established targets for the following twenty years.
Among 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 licensed transitional funding for NASA’s lengthy-time period objectives and expanded their industrial actions in house. 
Former Senator Bill Nelson, speaks to media after he was ceremonially sworn-in because the 14th NASA Administrator by Vice President Kamala Harris. Credit: NASA/Aubrey GemignaniPrior to his nomination, Nelson was a member-at-giant with the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), a physique made up of choose residents that gives NASA with recommendation and steering on main program and coverage points. He additionally served as the pinnacle of the House’s Subcommittee on Science and Space for six years earlier than changing 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. Said appearing NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk in regards to the determination:
“I’m happy to welcome Bill to the NASA family. It’s been an amazing year for NASA and our commercial and international partners, and I look forward to working with Bill and the Biden-Harris Administration to build on the incredible momentum we’ve built so far. It has been an honor to serve as acting administrator, but it’s the NASA workforce that makes the agency one-of-a-kind. Thank you for all you do to advance NASA’s critical missions.”
In his new position at NASA, Nelson will probably be answerable for guiding the nation’s house program at a extremely essential juncture. In lower than three years, NASA intends to land the “first woman and next man” on the Moon as a part of the Artemis Program. In the meantime, there is nonetheless a lot to completed, which incorporates getting the SLS prepared for launch-testing and ironing out the authorized disputes over who will get to construct the Human Landing System (SLS).
In addition, Nelson will oversee the enlargement of local weather change analysis, fostering innovation, and enhancing NASA’s outreach efforts to the enterprise, analysis, manufacturing, and STEM schooling sectors. The coming 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.
Further Reading: NASA
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