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Report: Bridenstine Leading Candidate for NASA Administrator

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
January 2, 2017
Filed under ,
Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Andy Pasztor of The Wall Street Journal reports on the decision process for NASA Administrator:

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican with a record supporting both commercial space ventures and traditional manned exploration programs, appears to be the leading candidate to become the next NASA administrator, according to people familiar with the matter.

The lawmaker’s name emerged early during the Trump administration transition process, and he has been interviewed by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, these people said. But they emphasized that Mr. Bridenstine, a former Navy pilot who has actively sought the position, still is waiting for a final signoff by President-elect Donald Trump and top aides….

Picking Rep. Bridenstine to run NASA could help bridge some of the deep policy and philosophical disagreements that have split the Trump transition effort involving the agency. Most members of the team assigned to NASA are associated with big-ticket programs favored by longstanding agency contractors, while a separate faction wants to emphasize commercial initiatives and novel funding strategies….

Mr. Bridenstine has a history of backing commercial space tugs and taxis to ferry cargo and eventually U.S. astronauts to the international space station. But he also is considered a proponent of existing exploration programs backed by Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and other legacy contractors.

The story says that Bridenstine’s prospects of becoming the next U.S. Air Force secretary appear to have faded.

Meanwhile, Bridenstine has authored a blog post on the importance of the moon as our next destination in space.