By the skin of his teeth
That is the way one describes such a narrow vote. With only one vote separating the two sides, Rep. Jim Bridenstine was appointed the next chief of NASA. The reason for the close vote is because of the attitude of the Democratic party which is probably still seething from a stinging judicial defeat last year.
When Former President Obama made a Supreme Court pick, his nomination was held up by the Republican Senate majority. The sitting Democrats did not like what took place and now it seems it seeks a little revenge.
What is in store for NASA?
If everything goes according to public statements, it seems that the NASA, and by extension the U.S., will pull out of the co-operative International Space Station (ISS). This plan is designed to allow more lucrative and cost-efficient low space projects to take priority.
Then, it is said that by removing NASA and the U.S. from the ISS, the space agency will able to target plans to return to the moon or make Mars their next accomplishment.
Does he have the experience
While Rep. Jim Bridenstine has never been involved in any form of space travel, he does have over 1,900 hours flight time. His education does not hold up either as he is not an engineer but has degrees in Psychology and Business.
His one piece of experience with space come in his being made the head of the Tulsa Air & Space Museum and Planetarium. This little bit of exposure to space may not be enough for Rep. Jim Bridenstine to lead the agency with any effectiveness.
Being a professional
It is hard to assess how professional Rep. Jim Bridenstine will be in his new position. He has only briefly appeared on the political scene. Entering office in 2012. His reputation has taken a beating over his stance on climate change.
But that criticism does not merit much influence as climate change has little do with the space program. It also does not show how effective Rep. Bridenstine would be as a leader of NASA.
Having a differing opinion with scientists is not unnatural as even scientists do it with each other. The argument seems more of an excuse to vote against the new NASA leader.
Time will only tell how wise the choice was. The man deserves a chance to lead the agency since he was properly appointed and confirmed. Let him make his own mistakes and judge him on his record not his opinions.