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Senate approves former Florida Senator Bill Nelson to head NASA

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has approved former Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who once flew in a spacecraft, the next administrator of NASA.

Lawmakers agreed to elect President Joe Biden to run the space agency by consensus late Thursday night, without a roll call vote.

“I am honored to nominate the President and vote for the Senate,” Nelson said in a statement. “I will try to be worthy of that trust. Forward and above. “

Nelson will become the 14th administrator of NASA, succeeding another former member of Congress, Republican Jim I Bridstein of Oklahoma. Nelson currently serves on NASA’s Advisory Board.

Nelson promised to “help NASA lead an exciting future of opportunity” by running. The space agency is working to send astronauts back to the moon this decade.

“His workforce radiates optimism, ingenuity and the ability to act,” Nelson said. “The NASA team continues to achieve what seems unbelievable as we launch into space.”

Nelson, 78, grew up near Cape Canaveral and served as a Democrat in Congress when he was ousted in 1986. Launched on January 12, the Colombian spacecraft. Its commander was Charles Bolden Jr., who later served as NASA governor under President Barack Obama at Nelson’s urging.

Just 10 days after completing their flight, the Challenger crashed shortly after the crash, killing all seven astronauts.

Nelson, a lawyer, is a former U.S. Army reservist captain who served six terms in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1991. He was elected to the Senate in 2000. Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

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AP Aerospace writer Marcia Dunn contributed to this report.

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