U.S. Senate Confirms Jim Bridenstine 50-49 as New NASA Administrator

By  //  April 19, 2018

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Bridenstine, 42, is a former Naval aviator

The Senate confirmed Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine as the 13th Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (NASA image)

WASHINGTON DC – The Senate confirmed Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine as the 13th Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Fifty Republicans voted for Bridenstine and 47 Democrats plus two independents against in the vote that took place on Thursday.

“I am humbled by this opportunity, and I once again thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence,” said Bridenstine.

“I look forward to working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the president’s vision for American leadership in space.”

Bridenstine, 42, is a former Naval aviator that has represented his Tulsa-area district since 2013 and has been a strong advocate of space commercialization. He’s the principal sponsor of the American Space Renaissance Act, which aims to beef up the military and commercial side of the space program.

He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Bridenstine began his Naval aviation career flying the E-2C Hawkeye off the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. It was there that he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and gathered most of his 1,900 flight hours and 333 carrier-arrested landings.

While on active duty, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.

After leaving active duty, Bridenstine returned to Tulsa to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Bridenstine’s background includes a triple major at Rice University, a MBA from Cornell University, nine years active duty in the United States Navy, and business experience in real estate, ranching, aerospace and defense contracting.

Bridenstine was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2012 while flying missions in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs. Most recently he transitioned to the 137th Air Refueling Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, where he will fly with an MC-12 squadron stationed at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

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“I’m very pleased to welcome Jim Bridenstine to NASA,” said Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot Jr.

“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.”

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