Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Explorers & Workers
  Bridenstine nominated for NASA Administrator

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Bridenstine nominated for NASA Administrator
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-01-2017 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-01-2017 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-01-2017 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 652
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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
Member

Posts: 2011
From:
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 09-02-2017 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 992
From: Honolulu, HI
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 09-02-2017 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-02-2017 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 388
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2014

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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-02-2017 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 2739
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 09-03-2017 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 1090
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 09-03-2017 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 180
From: Dumfries, VA, USA
Registered: Aug 2014

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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

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
Member

Posts: 699
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 09-03-2017 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 388
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 09-03-2017 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_The_First   Click Here to Email Mike_The_First     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-03-2017 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 388
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2014

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.

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 1217
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 09-04-2017 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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.

Jonnyed
Member

Posts: 180
From: Dumfries, VA, USA
Registered: Aug 2014

posted 09-04-2017 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jonnyed   Click Here to Email Jonnyed     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-06-2017 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Member

Posts: 388
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 09-06-2017 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_The_First   Click Here to Email Mike_The_First     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-06-2017 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-26-2017 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-25-2017 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-01-2017 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Editor

Posts: 38260
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-08-2017 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 2017 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement