Bridenstine Squeaks in as NASA Administrator in Party-Line Vote

Rep. Jim Bridenstine

The nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to serve as the next NASA Administrator was narrowly approved by the U.S. Senate on Thursday afternoon.

The part-line vote was 50-49, with all Republicans voting yes and all the Democrats opposed. Sen. John McCain, who is absent undergoing cancer treatments, did not vote.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who had raised concerns about confirming a politician to run an agency with broad bipartisan support, voted to support the nomination.

Democrats opposed the nomination for several reasons, including Bridenstine’s previous claims that global warming is not occurring. He has since modified his views.

  • Bulldog

    Okay, he has received what he wanted. Let’s see how he does.

  • Congrats and good luck.

  • JS Initials

    Is this the last we see of this topic?

  • newpapyrus

    Now that Bridenstine is the new NASA administrator, Congress and the current administration needs to move swiftly with a COTS and CCP for lunar operations. This should be a $3 billion a year program or programs funded by both NASA and the DOD, IMO.

    NASA , the DOD, and American private industry needs to be able to deploy astronauts and other passengers to the lunar surface but also be able to deploy large and heavy objects to the lunar surface including large lunar habitat components. Concepts such as the ULA’s XEUS, Lockheed Martin’s MADV and perhaps a reusable version of Boeing’s Altair might have the inside track for cargo and crew transportation development funding from NASA and the DOD.

    Equally as important, IMO, is the need to aggressively develop and deploy propellant producing water depots at LEO, the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, and on the lunar surface. No matter how many billions of tonnes of ice exist at the lunar poles, the exploitation of lunar ice will only continue to be a dream if propellant producing water depots are not already deployed and operational within cis-lunar space by the time humans return to the Moon. Water for such depots could initially come from commercial launches from the Earth’s surface with the long term economic goal (within a decade’s time) of producing and transporting water from the lunar surface to the rest of cis-lunar space.

    Marcel

  • Tom Billings

    How could they complain of Trump without also complaining of his nominee? The core of this is the complaint that academics are no longer the ones in charge of society’s government for 4-8 years, at least. They will find ways to drag this back into contention whenever one of their progressive hobby horses gets sold off for glue.

  • Tom Billings

    “Water for such depots could initially come from commercial launches from
    the Earth’s surface with the long term economic goal (within a decade’s
    time) of producing and transporting water from the lunar surface to the
    rest of cis-lunar space.”

    Physically this could still happen on private budgets. Legally, if the present House authorization Bill for NASA passes, resources, including propellants, sent from Earth to Propellant Depots in Space are not to be considered for purchase by NASA. Only resources garnered *in*Space* are to be deemed purchasable. This will stretch the time in which the SLS is a politically useful way to leverage distribution of funding through NASA, because it can do things near and at the Moon that un-refueled smaller launchers cannot.

    Thus will congressional resource allocations continue to keep NASA a craft shop/job shop for distribution of money that helps members get elected.

  • therealdmt

    The House Science Committee made some last minute revisions to the bill that contained that language, including a significant change to the provision to purchase resources garnered in space.

    Specifically, “The manager’s amendment also replaced language in the original bill directing NASA to use commercial space products and in-space infrastructure with language instead requiring NASA to prepare a report on the potential use of such commercial capabilities.”

  • Douglas Messier

    You must be fun at parties.

  • Tom Billings

    I attend First Saturday parties here in the Portland Metro area, and hostesses have been known to tell their lady guests, …”ask him about *anything*but*Space*, …unless you want to spend the whole party on Moon bases.” Born with Aspergers, and being a libertarian in an area that is Blue-on-Blue progressive, while being honest, requires a more, …extensive… explanation for how I arrive at my viewpoints than some would stay for, …but a surprising number do. 🙂

    The lands from Canada to Marin County are the heart of the old “Ecotopia” dream, and we still have way too many anti-industry haters stewing in the wet side of the mountains here for there to be much like acceptance of folks like me. I developed a tough skin by the age of 25, though. 40+ years later I’ve never been actually been asked to leave a party, so for an Aspie I’m not doing too bad.

  • duheagle

    That would be a bonus. He’s quite a bit of fun right here.

  • duheagle

    Only if Doug didn’t pay the unlimited use rate to whatever stock photo outfit supplies his Bridenstine pics.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    Marcel

    Forget about DOD in off Earth resource exploitation, it is not in their mandates or interests.

    The NASA top line budget will not be likely to change much in the foreseeable future. So any Lunar program will have to steal from other programs. That will not go down well with those program’s associated Congressional critters.

    With the soon to be available Super Heavy Lift launchers. The case for near to mid term water mining on the Moon for exporting propellants is poor. It will be cheaper to just lift propellants to orbital depots from Earth for a very long time. There have to be new infrastructures to extract, refined, stored and move water off the Moon. Where it is quite challenging to set up infrastructures.

  • Robert G. Oler

    a child in a mans world