The Trump administration nominated Oklahoma Republican Representative Jim Bridenstine for the top NASA job in September of last year. He's been a vocal proponent of the privatization of space, which led to some criticism of the choice as injecting politics into an agency that should be about the pursuit of science. Now, some 16 months into Trump's time in the White House, the Senate has finally confirmed Bridenstine for the position.
Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Jim Bridenstine as our 13th administrator. Once sworn in, he will oversee our ongoing mission of exploration and discovery. Welcome to the NASA family! pic.twitter.com/r1Eiyb13PY— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2018
"It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator," said Bridenstine, now the 13th administrator of the US space agency, in a statement. "I am humbled by this opportunity, and I once again thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the President's vision for American leadership in space."
Acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot praised the confirmation in the statement, as well. "I'm very pleased to welcome Jim Bridenstine to NASA," he said. "He joins our great agency at a time when we are poised to accomplish historic milestones across the full spectrum of our work. Jim now takes the reins of this agency and its talented and dedicated workforce. I'm looking forward to him building on our great momentum and sharing our many strengths to help us make the next giants leaps on behalf of humanity. I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the NASA team for all they accomplished during my time leading the agency."