Vice President Mike Pence To Swear In New NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

Jim Bridenstine's pick as NASA chief raises questions

Vice President Mike Pence swears in new NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on April 23, 2018, at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Flake of Arizona returned to the floor and changed his "no" vote to "yes" for GOP Rep. James Bridenstine to be the next NASA administrator. "And NASA will lead the way". "We look forward to working with Jim Bridenstine to restore America's proud legacy of leadership in space- essential to our nat'l security & prosperity", the Vice President tweeted. "I look forward to our journey together".

Bridenstine takes over for acting administrator Robert Lightfoot, who has been running the agency for the duration of the Trump administration.

After Bridenstine was sworn in, the two men took a few moments to chat with three American astronauts aboard the International Space Station, who sent along their "hearty congratulations" to the new administrator. Bridenstine is a former NAVY pilot of USA but does not have much experience and background on the science side.

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For about an hour, no one was sure what was going to happen to break a tie vote to end debate on the next NASA administrator. Bridenstine also is a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve and the former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium.

He was elected to represent Oklahoma's first congressional district in 2012, serving on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. His solid confirmation, scientific beliefs, and experience set him apart from his forerunners and could show a change in how NASA runs.

Consequently, Bridenstine's lack of technical background and professional space experience caused prominent senators to question the republican's suitability for the role.

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