In DepthSPACE POLICY

Oklahoma politician picked to lead NASA back to the moon

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Science  08 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6355, pp. 957
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6355.957

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Summary

On 1 September, President Donald Trump picked Representative Jim Bridenstine (R–OK) to lead NASA. If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine is expected to advocate for commercial spaceflight and returning astronauts to the moon. But his skeptical views on climate change are likely to draw opposition. Prior to joining the House of Representatives in 2012, Bridenstine served as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium in Oklahoma. Unlike some previous NASA administrators, Bridenstine, a former naval pilot, does not have a technical background, and aside from his time at the Tulsa museum, he has little executive experience. But his political ties could prove valuable to the agency, some researchers say.