In a unanimous vote, the Senate approved the nomination of former senator Bill Nelson as the 14th NASA administrator. Nelson will succeed Steve Jurczyk, who has led the space agency on an acting basis since Jan. 20th., and will bring more than four decades of public service to his new position.
“It’s been an amazing year for NASA and our commercial and international partners, and I look forward to working with Bill and the Biden-Harris Administration to build on the incredible momentum we’ve built so far," Jurczyk said.
Nelson represented Florida in the Senate from 2001 to 2019 and chaired the House Science, Space and Technology Committee's space subcommittee for six years.
He flew aboard NASA's Columbia space shuttle as a congressional representative for the program's 24th mission in 1986. His achievements as a member of Congress included his work on the 2010 landmark NASA authorization bill that drove the current dual-track of public and private sector human spaceflight missions.
At his nomination hearing Thursday, he told members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that he would support long-term contract opportunities for the Artemis moonshot and prioritize robotic and human exploration programs as well.