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.”
Our missions and centers are welcoming our newly-confirmed administrator, Jim Bridenstine. See some of the messages welcoming him to the NASA family in this new @TwitterMoments:
— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2018
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.
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.
Welcome to the NASA family, Mr. Bridenstine! We look forward to your leadership as we develop cutting-edge technologies that are being tested and flown today to meet America’s human & robotic space exploration needs. See the latest in #NASAtech: https://t.co/EkXosbiV33 pic.twitter.com/y94iAAfD7c
— NASA Technology (@NASA_Technology) April 19, 2018
“Congrats Rep Bridenstine on being confirmed as the next @NASA Administrator! Under @POTUS, America will lead in space once again,” tweeted Vice President Mike Pence.
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.”
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. https://t.co/2eEwgHMXKC pic.twitter.com/vvq0nE3Erh
— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) April 19, 2018
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!”
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! More: https://t.co/JbNkcjJyla pic.twitter.com/uMnSMY93He
— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) April 19, 2018