A politician who said politicians should not run NASA wants to run NASA

Then Rep. Bill Nelson (D-Fla., at bottom) undergoing zero-gravity training onboard a KC-135 along with other astronaut trainees in 1985. On his right is schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, who died along with six other crew members in the <em data-recalc-dims=Challenger Disaster. “/>
Zoom in / Then rep. Bill Nelson (bottom D-Fla.) Was conducting zero-gravity training on the KC-135 in 1985 with other astronaut trainees. To his right is the school’s teacher, Christa M. McCauley, who died along with six other crew members. Challenger Disaster.

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On Monday, a rumor surfaced in Washington for several weeks that former Florida Democrat U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is the leading contender to become NASA’s next administrator.

Public Breaking Defense Shared the rumor on Twitter, Noting that Nelson has a “strong” relationship with President Biden and understands how Congress works. Nelson, 78, lost his 2018 bid for the Senate election. He served six terms as a member of the House of Representatives and three terms in the Upper House.

Two sources told Arsen that Nelson was pushing hard to become administrator and was taking advantage of his friendly relationship with Biden to do so. “This is more than a rumor,” a source said. However, it is also not a bargain, as rumors have surfaced that Nelson’s appointment to the space community has come to light, which has a long and sometimes controversial history in the space community.

Simon Porter, an astrophysicist on the New Horizons mission, who explains on Twitter, can summarize some of these. By writing“It’s literally ‘Trump put oil officials in the hands of the EPA’ at a bad and corrupt level. For SLS contractors he has to be pushed by lobbyists, and if Biden is even considering it, he’s listening to lobbyists, not professionals.” “

Nelson astronaut

Nelson will certainly bring plenty of experience and familiarity to the role of NASA administrator. In addition to representing the Kennedy Space Center in Congress for decades, he flew as a space shuttle payload expert. Colombia In January 1986.

However, as one of the most influential politicians in the space industry, Nelson’s mission was to go on the space shuttle for self-stimulation purposes. In his book Riding rockets, NASA’s former astronaut Mike Mulla speaks out against the colorful Nelson, who told Mulla that they make every effort to gain favorable publicity.

“He wanted to be a contributing croumber and do something important,” Mulla wrote. “There was only one problem. None of the lead researchers of any of the experiments displayed on the mission wanted Nelson close to their equipment. They had the opportunity to fly their experiments, for months on how to best work with astronauts. Equipment Run, and at the last minute no notechnical politician wanted to step in and screw things up. “

Eventually, Nels received an insulting nickname from his cremates for his role on the shuttle mission:Ballast.

Space launch system

More recently, Nelson played a key role in NASA’s development of the expensive space launch system rocket. Early in his presidency, Barack Obama sought to scrap NASA’s efforts to build a larger rocket, the Ares V, and to see if the private sector could more effectively launch launch vehicles. This will free up NASA’s budget for technological development and other purposes, as companies like SpaceX are starting to make promises.

Nelson joined the main Republicans in opposing the plan and marshalled votes against it. As a result, NASA was instructed to build another large rocket, the Space Launch System, which was built as a replacement for the Ares V (more than a decade later and લર 20 billion later, the SLS rocket is yet to be launched). NASA’s initiative to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station after the retirement of the space shuttle to companies such as SpaceX and Boeing also led National to reduce the charge for commercial crews.

Working with Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Nells found that the commercial crew program received less than half of the money requested by the White House for commercial crews from 2011 to 2011 through. Instead, Congress invested the money in the SLS rocket.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Nels continued to lambstate NASA in support of commercial companies, particularly SpaceX. After the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, announced the development of the Falcon Heavy Rocket – a low-cost rival of SLS – giving Nels a button to NASA officials to support the company. “Keep your boy in line,” he said, according to two sources.

Not a politician

In 2017, Nelson also led Jim Bridenstein’s opposition to becoming NASA’s administrator. Nelson, then a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transport, which oversees NASA, said Bridenstein was too partisan and political to lead NASA. He also accused Brydenstein of not having the skills to do so.

“NASA’s chief space officer should be a professional, not a politician,” Nelson said of Oklahoma’s two-term congressman, Bradenstein.

Bridenstein would become a respected administrator of the space agency, rarely showing anything other than bipartisanship as he furthered the space agency’s efforts in human research and scientific research.

Scientists are now concerned that Nelson does not fully share Bridenstein’s enthusiasm for advancing the agency or for scientific research. This is because, as a Florida congressman, Nelson generally sought funding for programs such as the Kennedy Space Center and the SLS Rocket, which used technology from the space shuttle era and supported local jobs.

Asked his thoughts on Nelson as a potential NASA administrator, Lori Garver, who served as deputy administrator at the space agency during the Obama administration, was nothing short of tempting. “Now is not the time to turn the clock back at NASA,” he said.