After fifteen months without a stable administrator, senators approved Representative Jim Bridenstine as the new leader of NASA. His solid confirmation, scientific beliefs, and experience set him apart from his forerunners and could show a change in how NASA runs.
When Trump publicized Bridenstine as his candidate to take over the agency, Democrats were quite concerned it could campaign a conventionally non-partisan work. The majority of administrators have been approved almost universally; however, Bridenstine just got through by a single vote.
On top of that, critics also claimed that Bridenstine isn’t eligible to run NASA. Previous administrators mostly came from science-based upbringings. Bridenstine is a former NAVY pilot of US but does not have much experience and background on the science side. Further, he is also the first elected official to play in the role.
Scientists claim that the views of Bridenstine could stifle the research of NASA on climate change. The agency spends a lot of money and time to monitor the effects of the warming planet. But Bridenstine has never settled with the scientific consensus that humans are the main drivers of global warming.
Senator Jeff Flake first voted against the nomination. Later on, he changed his vote to yes, letting it advance 50 to 48. Flake originally opposed the nomination to obtain assurances he would get to discuss with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who’s been nominated as the Secretary of State regarding travel restrictions to Cuba that Flakes prefers to lift.
Professionals say this unrestrained confirmation procedure could make it hard for NASA to work effectively going forward. One political expert noted that Bridenstine has an uphill climb that proves that he is suitable for the job.
All forty-eight Democrats are present on Wednesday opposed advancing the nomination of Bridenstine. All fifty Republicans in the chamber held him. Some of them include Senator Tammy Duckworth, a who’s on maternity leave.
Pressure to confirm Bridenstine has developed since Lightfoot declared earlier this year that he would leave the organization at the end of the month. Nonetheless, there’s no clear successor at NASA ready to step in.
Not having a permanent head could leave NASA in leadership as it encounters key milestones. It includes the development of a commercial vehicle, which can ferry crews to the International Space Station, testing the rocket system of NASA designed to take astronauts to deep space, as well as the delayed deployment of the inheritor to the Hubble space telescope.