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  Jim Bridenstine, 13th NASA Administrator (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Jim Bridenstine, 13th NASA Administrator
Robert Pearlman
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The White House on Friday (Sept. 1) announced President Donald Trump's intention to nominate Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine for NASA Administrator:
James Bridenstine of Oklahoma to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Mr. Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma's First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Mr. Bridenstine began his Naval aviation career flying the E-2C Hawkeye off the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. It was there that he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. While on active duty, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew as an "aggressor" at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center.

After leaving active duty, Mr. Bridenstine returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium and flew counter-drug missions in Central and South America in the Navy reserve. He holds a triple major from Rice University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.

Mr. Bridenstine is currently a member of the 137th Special Operations Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA Statement on Nomination for Agency Administrator

The following is a statement from acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot on Friday's announcement of the intended nomination by President Donald Trump of U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine to serve as the 13th NASA administrator:

"I am pleased to have Rep. Bridenstine nominated to lead our team. Of course, the nomination must go through the Senate confirmation process, but I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition and sharing the great work the NASA team is doing.

"I look forward to working with a new leadership team, and the administration, on NASA's ongoing mission of exploration and discovery. Our history is amazing, and our future is even brighter, as we continue to build on this nation's incredible global leadership in human exploration, science, aeronautics and technology."

Robert Pearlman
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Florida's senators have expressed objections to Bridenstine's nomination:
"The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician," [Democrat Bill] Nelson said in a brief written statement to POLITICO.

...[Republican Marco] Rubio said he and Nelson "share the same concerns" and worry Bridenstine's "political baggage" would weigh him down in a GOP-led Senate that has grown increasingly resistant to Trump. NASA can't afford that, Rubio said.

"I just think it could be devastating for the space program. Obviously, being from Florida, I'm very sensitive to anything that slows up NASA and its mission," Rubio told POLITICO.

"It's the one federal mission which has largely been free of politics and it's at a critical juncture in its history," Rubio said. "I would hate to see an administrator held up — on [grounds of] partisanship, political arguments, past votes, or statements made in the past — because the agency can't afford it and it can't afford the controversy."

Oklahoma senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe applauded the nomination.

David C
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posted 09-02-2017 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unusual choice.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-02-2017 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bridenstine, if confirmed by the Senate, will be the first elected official to fill the role, but he wouldn't be the first to serve in a non-aerospace government role before becoming NASA Administrator.

James Webb worked in the State Department. Sean O'Keefe was the comptroller for the Department of Defense, the Secretary of the Navy and the deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget before becoming NASA chief.

Bridenstine did head an air and space museum and as a congressman, made space exploration one of his key issues. His record of putting politics before science is not without concern, but his interest in advancing NASA's spaceflight efforts seem to be clear.

He would also be the fifth NASA Administrator to have served the U.S. Navy.

Wehaveliftoff
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Marco Rubio is in agreement with Bill Nelson. He goes on to say Bridenstine's political baggage could hold NASA back by throwing in accusations of partisan bias, and may not command respect from an organization that values its scientific mission. While he might jumpstart private spaceflight, he may also downplay important scientific studies (climate science) in the process, Rubio told Politico.

mode1charlie
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I don't have anything against Bridenstine, but I agree with Sen. Nelson's comment that NASA has hitherto been one of the few U.S. government institutions that has enjoyed bipartisan support. It would be tragic if this was undermined, and in that respect there is a real concern here. Regardless of what he does, it would be seen through a partisan lens in a way that a non-politician space expert as NASA Admin would not.

Robert Pearlman
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National Space Society release
National Space Society Congratulates Representative Jim Bridenstine on His Nomination to be NASA Administrator

The National Space Society (NSS) congratulates Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-1) on his nomination to be the next NASA Administrator.

"NSS looks forward to working with Representative Bridenstine in his new role as the NASA Administrator," said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President and Chair of the NSS Policy Committee. "Representative Bridenstine over his years in Congress worked with NSS to advance America's space program. He has introduced the American Space Renaissance Act, which has been a powerful tool for advancing new ideas to improve America's position in space."

Representative Bridenstine brings to his new job both political and aeronautical experience. A three-term member of Congress, Bridenstine served as a naval aviator from 1998-2007, and in the naval reserve from 2010-2015, mainly flying the E-2C Hawkeye. Additionally, Bridenstine was the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Bridenstine has degrees from Rice University (triple major in Economics, Psychology, and Business), and an MBA from Cornell.

"Representative Bridenstine is one of a growing group in Congress that fully appreciates the importance of space commerce and space resources to the human future," said NSS Senior Vice President Bruce Pittman. "We look forward with great anticipation to working with Jim Bridenstine to lead America back to the Moon and to develop a thriving economy in space."

Mark Hopkins, Chair of the NSS Executive Committee, added, "Some may be concerned that Representative Bridenstine is not an engineer or scientist. We should all recall that one of the greatest NASA administrators, Jim Webb, was a lawyer. America is lucky to have Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator."

Mike_The_First
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posted 09-02-2017 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_The_First   Click Here to Email Mike_The_First     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following is a statement from acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot...
I'd be more interested in hearing from Charlie Bolden, who both understands the current state of NASA (for the most part — not too much has changed internally in the past seven months), and, as a retiree, would be less likely to toe the company line.

Any chance you could get ahold of him for a quote, Robert?

Robert Pearlman
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I can try reaching out to him (though I'm sure I won't be the first), but as a baseline, Bolden was asked about the future of NASA leadership by the Huntsville Times in July:
"The smartest thing President Trump and Vice President Pence could do now" would be name Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot to the post permanently. Lightfoot was director of Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center before becoming NASA associate administrator.

"One of the reasons I feel so good about NASA today is because of NASA leadership...in the person of Robert Lightfoot," Bolden said. "Awesome. You all know him. He'd be the right person to get us down the road. That'd be one thing I'd strongly recommend."

Blackarrow
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A former naval aviator to become the next NASA Administrator? I seem to recall that NASA has been rather well served by other naval aviators in the past.

I see that Bridenstine is a supporter of SLS/Orion, and a fervent advocate of a return to the moon. Sounds good to me!

328KF
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Asking Charlie Bolden how the Administrator nominee should run NASA is like asking any former President how the next should run the country.

If Bridenstine is confirmed, he will manage things the way he sees fit, while adhering to any directives and priorities set by the current administration. For better or worse, just like Bolden did.

One sure thing is that no matter what he does, one faction or another will be less than pleased.

Jonnyed
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posted 09-03-2017 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jonnyed   Click Here to Email Jonnyed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm probably getting way too old and grumpy but he looks a "little wet behind the ears." I'm for seasoned experience, not newly minted "bright and shiny copper pennies."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-03-2017 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At 42, Bridenstine would be the youngest NASA Administrator in history, but not by much. Sean O'Keefe was 45 when he took the job and Thomas Paine was 48.

SkyMan1958
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While I am not thrilled by the appointment, I do say give the guy a chance to prove what he can or can not do.

While there is no question that he will be following what he is told to do by the current administration, there is, to me, another, at least as important a piece of the question, that won't be answered for some time. That is, at the most basic level, is he a decent administrator?

NASA is a large government agency with all that entails. Some people are naturals for running large governmental organizations, some people make mistakes in the beginning, but then learn how to run it over time, and some people never learn and make a hash out of it. We shall see which variant Bridenstine is.

Mike_The_First
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quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
Asking Charlie Bolden how the Administrator nominee should run NASA is like asking any former President how the next should run the country.
There's a difference between asking how Bolden thinks the job should be done and whether Bolden thinks the appointee is a good fit for the job. The former is, honestly, a bit of a stupid question, since we can assume that Bolden did the job in the way that he thought it should be done. He may be more diplomatic, but his answer would likely boil down to "The way I did it." The latter question, however, is valid, since Bolden has a clear grasp of what exactly the job is in its current state.

To use your President analogy, you'll be hard pressed to find a time when the outgoing President wasn't asked that about his potential successor.

"Do you think [x] is qualified and/or capable of doing the job?" is an incredibly common question in the White House briefing room during election year. The reason for that is simple: the current President is the only one who, with any degree of certainty, knows what the next guy is up against.

Obviously Lightfoot is the current office holder, but he's only held that position for six months (during which, not much, as I said before, has changed internally — it's essentially still Bolden's NASA), and, as we've seen, he's not going to comment one way or the other about the nominee. Bolden, being retired, doesn't have the same obligation.

Essentially, Bolden is the only one who both knows for sure what the nominee is up against and is able (though very possibly unwilling) to speak openly about it. As such, his is the only opinion that I'd care to hear about whether or not the nominee is up to the job. And, the next time this happens, I'll want to hear from the new Administrator, and so on.

Robert Pearlman
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike_The_First:
Bolden is the only one...
Not the only one; there is also Robert Frosch, Jim Beggs, Dick Truly, Dan Goldin, Sean O'Keefe and Mike Griffin.

Mike_The_First
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posted 09-03-2017 10:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_The_First   Click Here to Email Mike_The_First     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, he's not the only living Administrator — but each faces their own challenges. A lot has changed in the 8 years since Griffin held the office — not much has changed in the 7 months since Bolden.

Bolden is the only one (aside from Lightfoot, who can't speak freely) who knows the challenges that surround the current programs in their current incarnations.

That's why I followed those statements with comments regarding "the job in its current state," or, with the section you quoted, "what the nominee is up against."

The others have an idea of what the job entails (and possibly some of the current problems, depending on how closely they still follow the program), but Bolden and Lightfoot are the only ones who know from experience what exactly an incoming Administrator will face in 2017.

And, of those two, Bolden is the only one who can speak openly (whether or not he's willing is a different story).

As I said, when this happens again, it'll be the next Administrator whose opinion would carry the most weight with me — and then the next one after them for the time after that and on down the line.

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Hopefully they will appoint someone from inside NASA as Deputy Administrator to provide a balance between a new person and one with knowledge of NASA operations.

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Since Bridenstine was born in 1975, he'd be the first modern NASA Administrator to not be alive for any of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions and in particular the July 1969 milestone. He would not be able to recall a time when he saw a Saturn V light up (in real-time) like the awesome machine it was.

While you can watch all that history on video recordings and read about it in books or online, there's nothing like the "personal" connection one feels to be alive and watching the mission in present time.

Does it mean that he couldn't turn out to be a great NASA leader? Certainly he could be very good. But his appointment would mark an interesting "disconnection" with those great moments in NASA history.

Robert Pearlman
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike_The_First:
I'd be more interested in hearing from Charlie Bolden...
Bolden was just on MSNBC, commenting on several topics, including Jim Bridenstine's nomination:
The folks at NASA are very professional, the career folk there. NASA has been the best place to work in the federal government for five years going now and it is not because of any politician or political appointee that comes in, it is because of the workforce. And they will continue to be very professional.

He [Bridentstine] could come in and fold his arms, which would probably be a very smart thing, and over the next few years, the nation and the world will see NASA accomplish some things that we've been working on for quite some time now. And he'll get the credit for it.

He has a bright future as the NASA Administrator, if he will do what he learned in the Navy, which is to listen to the chiefs and take care of your people and they will take care of you. Those are the two things I would tell him.

Mike_The_First
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I have no idea what I expected him to say on the matter, but that surprised me.

It's both somewhat coy, yet very open at the same time.

Robert Pearlman
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Jim Bridenstine issued the following brief statement today:
It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as NASA Administrator. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. Should I be confirmed by the United States Senate, I will work with all diligence to achieve the President's vision for America's leadership in space.

Robert Pearlman
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Former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has weighed in on Jim Bridenstine's nomination.
... It is impossible to tell if Jim Bridenstine will have the kind of success that Webb achieved. But in pursuit of this parallel prospect, it's altogether possible he has exactly the skills and experience to position the agency to make that possible. His policy views, voting record and insights on how he may choose to use skills honed as a politician and elsewhere will surely be revealed in the upcoming confirmation hearing. But if past is prologue, he's qualified to clear the hurdles for Senate confirmation. And I'm willing to bet he'll prove to be a fine choice as the 13th NASA administrator.

Robert Pearlman
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The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene a hearing on Nov. 1 to consider the nomination of Jim Bridenstine to be NASA Administrator (among others for other positions).

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. EDT in Room 253 of the Russell Senate Office Building and will be webcast live through the committee's website.

Robert Pearlman
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From SpaceNews summary of the confirmation hearing:
Bridenstine, in his opening statement, emphasized safety. "Of course, the most important part of any human spaceflight mission is making sure our astronauts return home safely," he said, citing his own experience as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. "I will work to promote a NASA culture where safety, transparency and independent oversight are celebrated."

During the hearing, which lasted more than two and a half hours and focused almost entirely on Bridenstine over three other non-NASA nominees also under consideration, Democratic senators raised questions about Bridenstine's views on Earth science, social issues, and even his tenure as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum before he was elected to Congress in 2012.

From The Planetary Society's summary:
In his opening remarks, Bridenstine pledged to follow the guidance of the NASA Transition Authorization Act, and expressed support for the agency's Space Launch System, Orion, and commercial crew program. With regard to science, he mentioned the Mars 2020 rover, Europa Clipper, the James Webb Space Telescope, Parker Solar Probe and two Earth science missions, NISAR and IceSat-2. Also in his remarks, and later in the hearing, Bridenstine touched on the importance of NASA's community-driven decadal surveys, which set priorities for science programs in ten-year increments.

Robert Pearlman
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The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Wednesday (Nov. 8) approved Jim Bridenstine's nomination for NASA Administrator along a party line vote, 14 to 13.

The nomination now proceeds to a vote by the full Senate at a date still to be determined.

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As the Senate failed to vote on Bridenstine's nomination by the end of 114th Congress, the White House was required to restart the process and resubmit his nomination to the 115th. The nomination was sent to the Senate on Jan. 8.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Jan. 18 to consider the (re-)nomination. As Jeff Foust of SpaceNews notes (via Twitter):

This is largely a formality, required since the Senate, under its rules, returned the original nominations at the end of its first session, requiring the White House to renominate them. No evidence there will be a different outcome the second time around.

Robert Pearlman
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The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has again advanced Jim Bridenstine's nomination to the full Senate with a party line 14 to 13 vote.

Robert Pearlman
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Jim Bridenstine's nomination is heading for a vote by the full Senate. From the Senate Republicans on Twitter:
Leader McConnell has filed cloture on Exec. Cal. #609 James Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Robert Pearlman
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The Senate on Wednesday narrowly advanced the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine to be the new administrator of NASA after a long, drawn-out roll call in which Sen. Jeff Flake switched his vote, reports Politico.
The final tally was 50 to 48 to cut off debate and move forward toward a final confirmation vote. A majority was needed to advance the nomination.

Wednesday's procedural vote fell along party lines after some drama in which the Republican senator from Arizona initially opposed advancing the nomination, only to switch later to support it.

The vote to confirm Bridenstine's nomination is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
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With a vote of 50 to 49, the Senate has confirmed Jim Bridenstine as the 13th NASA Administrator. Bridenstine issued the following statement:
It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator. 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.
Statement by Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot:
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. I'm looking forward to him 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 express my heartfelt appreciation to the NASA team for all they accomplished during my time leading the agency.

Robert Pearlman
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Coalition for Deep Space Exploration release
Coalition for Deep Space Exploration Congratulates Jim Bridenstine on his Confirmation as NASA Administrator

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) congratulates Representative Jim Bridenstine upon his confirmation as NASA Administrator.

"The Senate vote today marks the beginning of Jim's tenure at our nation's space agency as America prepares to return to the Moon and push further into deep space," said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition. "The Coalition looks forward to working closely with Administrator Bridenstine and his team to support NASA's human exploration and space science programs."

Bridenstine joins the agency at a pivotal time. Over the next several years, NASA will launch Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion on Exploration Mission-1, return American astronauts to deep space on Exploration Mission-2, begin building the Gateway in Lunar orbit, restore U.S. crew transportation to the International Space Station (ISS), launch the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and Mars robotic missions, as well as return robotic landers to the surface of the Moon for the first time in nearly 50 years.

As a diverse industry association, the Coalition includes manufacturers and suppliers from around the country, contractors supporting nearly all of NASA's major spaceflight and space science missions, as well as a range of entrepreneurial start-up companies partnering with NASA on new products and services, such as a lunar lander and in-space manufacturing.

"The Coalition and its member companies stand ready to support Administrator Bridenstine as we take the next steps in the exploration of deep space, returning to the Moon and going on to Mars," concluded Dr. Dittmar.

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posted 04-19-2018 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's about time. Really sad that it came down to a party line vote. To those who claim space is above politics... lesson learned.

mode1charlie
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Mr. Bridenstine was the first politician to be nominated for this position, so perhaps politics should be expected for that very reason. It's also worth noting that the opposition to him was also at least partly bipartisan.

I'm not trying to start a debate; I'm just pointing out basic facts that help put the politics surrounding his nomination into context.

albatron
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Quote by Rubio:
"It's the one federal mission which has largely been free of politics and it's at a critical juncture in its history," Rubio said.
I certainly wish Mr. Rubio would have done some research before making such a statement. There is nothing governmental free of politics. Especially NASA who lives and dies on federal budgets — read that as: Congress.

Also, each President has their own vision for what NASA does and/or should do. A good friend of mine recently pointed out each President comes into office, and eliminates the previous President's "vision" for their own. Each President has their own vision (or recently NO vision) of what NASA should do and be.

So Mr. Rubio's comments were ill informed. Bill Nelson? I always change the channel when he comes on. A great space advocate at one time, it's time for him to hand the mantle over to someone else.

I think we look at the NASA administrator position in an incorrect manner. I see much clamoring he should be a scientist or an astronaut. Whilst I have no problem with the administrator being either one, let's face it, the administrator serves at the President's pleasure, and is there to put forth the President's vision.

The keyword here is: Administrator. I think Charlie's (Bolden) statement wasn't coy at all. The head guy administrates and administers the agency. You bring people in and surround yourself with the necessary talent to implement your (the President's) goals. That's exactly what Charlie said.

Mind you, I have no idea if this guy will make a great administrator or not, but let's see what happens. I personally am excited about what I see as some of Trump's goals. It's refreshing to see us going back to space.

Lunar rock nut
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From: Oklahoma city, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-20-2018 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Bridenstine will do a fine job. After all he is an "Okie."

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-20-2018 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vice President Mike Pence will swear in Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 23, at the agency's headquarters in Washington. The ceremony will air live on NASA Television.
Following the swearing-in, Vice President Pence and newly sworn-in NASA Administrator Bridenstine will speak live with three NASA astronauts currently living and working aboard the International Space Station. Expedition 55 crew members Scott Tingle, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold will offer congratulations and take questions from the Vice President and Administrator Bridenstine. The astronauts will also briefly share stories of their experiences on the orbiting outpost from 250 miles above Earth, traveling at 17,500 miles per hour.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 39709
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-23-2018 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
New NASA chief Jim Bridenstine sworn in, gets congratulations from space

Jim Bridenstine began his tenure as the administrator of NASA on Monday (April 23) by addressing some of his employees — the three U.S. astronauts on the International Space Station.

Bridenstine spoke with Expedition 55 flight engineers Scott Tingle, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold via a live downlink connecting the space station with NASA's Headquarters in Washington, DC. The exchange began a few minutes after Vice President Mike Pence swore Bridenstine into office.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39709
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-27-2018 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has released Jim Bridenstine's official portrait as Administrator.
Portrait, Jim Bridenstine Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Thursday, April 26, 2018 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)


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