Former Florida Senator Bill Nelson swore on Monday as head of the NASA, celebrating a “new day” of space exploration as the United States was about to return to the moon.
Nelson took the Bible and took the oath of office when he officially assumed the role of NASA administrator from Vice President Kamala Harris.
After bringing the moon rocks to the event, he said, “Today is a new day in space.”
Nelson, 78, who traveled to space in 1986, will take over the agency with the United States, hoping to return the astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Humans finally set foot on the moon during the 1972 Apollo program.
Under the Artemis program, NASA wants to establish a sustainable presence with the Moon’s space station to test new technologies that pave the way for manned missions to Mars.
In 2019, then Vice President Mike Pence demanded that NASA land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024, and President Joe Biden’s government upheld the same schedule.
Barack Obama’s administrator, Charlie Bolden, attended the ceremony on Monday, and former administrator Jim Bridenstin, who was the administrator of Donald Trump, participated in the video call.
Nelson said their existence was “to show continuity and transpartisanness in implementing the country’s space program, especially NASA.”
In 1986, incumbent Congressman Nelson was a crew member of Space Shuttle Columbia during a six-day mission in space, and has since joined many parliamentary committees on space and science.
“NASA is important to the national and economic security of the United States,” Harris said on Twitter.
“With decades of experience and a former astronaut, Bill Nelson will advance NASA’s science, aviation, and technology missions as an administrator.”
Biden chooses a former senator who flew in space to lead NASA
© 2021 AFP
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NASA Director Bill Nelson Welcomes “The New Day of the Universe”
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