The US Senate, in a narrow vote of 50-49 on Thursday, confirmed President Donald Trump-nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine to lead the US space agency.

Bridenstine will serve as NASA’s 13th administrator.

“It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “I am humbled by this opportunity, and I once again thank President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence for their confidence. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the President’s vision for American leadership in space.”

Bridenstine will take over from Robert Lightfoot, who has been leading the space agency since its previous administrator Charles Bolden retired in January 2017, soon after the US Presidential election.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Jim Bridenstine to NASA. He joins our great agency at a time when we are poised to accomplish historic milestones across the full spectrum of our work. Jim now takes the reins of this agency and its talented and dedicated workforce,” Lightfoot said in the joint statement with Bridenstine issued by NASA.

Bridenstine, a pilot in the US Navy Reserve and former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium, was elected to the US Congress in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. After leaving nine years’ active duty in the US Navy, he became the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium.

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Bridenstine currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

“I’m looking forward to him (Bridenstine) building on our great momentum and sharing our many strengths to help us make the next giants leaps on behalf of humanity. I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the NASA team for all they accomplished during my time leading the agency,” said Lightfoot.

Bridenstine’s background includes a triple major at Rice University, an MBA from Cornell University, and business experience in real estate, ranching, aerospace, and defense contracting.

Congratulations poured in for Bridenstine from within and outside NASA as all posted tweets in his welcome.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center tweeted: “Welcome to the NASA family, Mr. Bridenstine, from @NASAGoddard, home of the nation’s largest organization of scientists, engineers & technologists who build spacecraft, instruments & new technology to study Earth, the Sun, our solar system & the universe.”

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center too welcomed Bridenstine on board: “Welcome to the NASA family, Mr. Bridenstine! From the world’s most powerful rocket @NASA_SLS to technologies like 3-D printing, #NASAMarshall is a leader in propulsion, technology, & science! We can’t wait to show you our great center!”