Jim Bridenstine used part of his final full day as NASA administrator to call on the incoming administration to continue the Artemis program and return humans to the moon.
While Joe Biden is a familiar figure in politics, after decades in the Senate and eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, his views on space, and his plans for NASA, are far less clear.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine urged Senate appropriators to provide full funding of Artemis as some members questioned the agency’s emphasis on its lunar exploration program.
Bridenstine: "I really hope people take away from this discussion that we are an instrument of national power."
NASA used the release of a report on the Artemis program to seek full funding of the effort to return humans to the moon, warning that they had six months to secure its budget to keep a 2024 landing on schedule.
Given all the challenges that Jim Bridenstine has had to deal with as NASA administrator, perhaps the biggest accomplishment has been winning broad, bipartisan approval for his leadership of the space agency.
The new head of NASA’s human spaceflight programs says she’s excited by the opportunity to lead efforts to return astronauts to the moon, but cautioned she could not guarantee that could be accomplished by the end of 2024.
The successful return of human orbital spaceflight to the United States generated bipartisan praise, but it’s unclear if that support will translate into funding required to enable other NASA human spaceflight ambitions.
On the eve of the first crewed orbital flight from the United States in nearly nine years, both the current NASA administrator and his predecessor agreed that credit for the ultimate success of the commercial crew program should be shared.
While both the president and vice president plan to attend the Demo-2 commercial crew launch, there will be far fewer people attending the first American human orbital spaceflight in nearly a decade than once expected.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine criticized China May 15 for the “really dangerous” reentry of a large rocket stage earlier in the week that led to debris landing in Africa.