“I’m honored by the President’s nomination and the Senate vote,” Nelson mentioned in a press release. “I’ll attempt to benefit that belief. Onward and upward!”
Nelson will change into NASA’s 14th administrator, succeeding one other former member of Congress, Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma. Nelson at the moment serves on the NASA Advisory Council.
Nelson promised, when nominated, to “assist lead NASA into an thrilling way forward for prospects.” The area company is working to ship astronauts again to the moon this decade.
“Its workforce radiates optimism, ingenuity and a can-do spirit,” Nelson mentioned. “The NASA group continues to attain the seemingly not possible as we enterprise into the cosmos.”
Nelson, 78, grew up close to Cape Canaveral and was serving as a Democratic congressman when he launched aboard area shuttle Columbia on Jan. 12, 1986. His commander was Charles Bolden Jr., who later served as NASA administrator underneath President Barack Obama — at Nelson’s urging.
Simply 10 days after their flight ended, the area shuttle Challenger failed shortly after liftoff and all seven astronauts have been killed.
Nelson, who has a regulation diploma and is a former captain within the U.S. Military Reserve, served six phrases within the Home of Representatives from 1979 to 1991. He was elected in 2000 to the Senate, the place he served till his defeat in 2018 by former Florida Gov. Rick Scott.