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August 2, 2021
PHOTO CREDITS: THE INDEPENDENT
NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine announced he will step down under a Biden administration.
According to Aviation Week, the former Republican congressman reportedly thinks NASA will have a better chance of political success with a new chief. The new leader would have a “close relationship with the [next] president of the United States.”
“The right question here is, ‘What’s in the best interest of NASA as an agency, and what’s in the best interest of America’s exploration program?’” Bridenstine told the news outlet. “For that, what you need is somebody who has a close relationship with the president of the United States. You need somebody who is trusted by the administration, if there is a new administration, you need someone who is trusted by the new administration, that includes [the Office of Management and Budget], it includes the National Space Council, and it includes the National Security Council, and I think that I would not be the right person for that in a new administration,” Bridenstine added.
“We’ve had a lot of success, but it’s because of relationships,” the NASA director continued. “You have to have those relationships. Whoever the president is, they have to have somebody they know and trust and somebody the administration trusts. That person is not going to be me.” Representatives for NASA added that as an appointed position by the president, Bridenstine’s exit at the end of a presidential administration would not be uncommon.
“We are in a good position as a country. If you look at the bipartisan, apolitical support that we have from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle … there is strong support for Artemis,” Bridenstine said, referring to the space agency’s exploration initiative to expand human presence to the Moon and eventually to Mars.
“There is a political agreement that America needs to do big things in space exploration, that we need to lead the world,” Bridenstine said. “There have been lessons learned from the past and I think Congress is in a good position to make sure that we have sustainable programs going forward.”
ARTICLE: JOSEPH MODICA
SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH