The Senate has confirmed former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who once flew a space shuttle, to be the next chief of NASA.
Lawmakers agreed with President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the agency by a consensus late on Thursday, without the need for a roll call vote.
“I am honored by the President’s nomination and the Senate vote,” Nelson said in a statement concerning the confirmation. “I will try to merit that trust. Onward and upward!”
Nelson will be the 14th NASA administrator and is currently serving on the NASA Advisory Council.
The former Florida senator promised, when he was nominated for the position, to “help lead NASA into an exciting future of possibilities.” The organization is currently hard at work on a project designed to send astronauts to the moon this decade.
“Its workforce radiates optimism, ingenuity and a can-do spirit,” Nelson went on to say. “The NASA team continues to achieve the seemingly impossible as we venture into the cosmos.”
Nelson, 78, grew up near Cape Canaveral and was serving as a congressman when he launched aboard space shuttle Columbia on Jan. 12, 1986. His commander was Charles Bolden Jr., who later served as NASA administrator under President Barack Obama — at Nelson’s urging.
Just 10 days after their flight ended, the space shuttle Challenger failed shortly after liftoff and all seven astronauts were killed.
Nelson, who has a law degree and is a former captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, served six terms in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1991. He was elected in 2000 to the Senate, where he served until his defeat in 2018 by former Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Welp, with the government finally admitting the supposed existence of UFOs, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of weird crap NASA gets into under President Biden.
Hold on to your hats, folks. This is going to be a wild ride.