Friday, April 30, 2021

Bill Nelson to head of NASA

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida was confirmed as the new head of NASA in a unanimous Senate vote Thursday. Nelson faced questions and bipartisan support last week in a meeting of the Senate commerce, science and transportation committee in which he discussed continuing the Artemis program to send humans back to the moon as well as reinvigorate Earth science missions. Nelson, who once flew on the space shuttle when he was in the U.S. House, takes over for interim administrator Steve Jurczyk, who has been leading NASA since Jim Bridenstine stepped down when President Biden was inaugurated in January. Nelson, 78, lost out in his re-election bid to the Senate in 2018 to then Gov. Rick Scott. Nelson first won his Senate seat in 2000. (Source: Orlando Sentinel, 04/29/21) Gulf Coast note: NASA has operations in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and New Orleans.