After placing his hand on the Bible, Nelson took the oath to Vice President Kamala Harris, who officially appointed him NASA Administrator.
“A new day has come for space,” he said, bringing the Moonstone to the event.
Nelson, 78, who took to space in 1986, takes control of the agency, hoping the United States will return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
The last time people landed on the surface of the Moon was in 1972, as part of an American program. ”Apollo“.
Under the new Artemis program, NASA wants to establish a long-term base on the Earth’s satellite and launch a space station into its orbit to test new technologies to prepare the ground for manned missions to Mars.
In 2019, then-Vice President Mike Pence presented NASA with a target to send the first woman and another man to the Moon by 2024, and current President Joe Biden has endorsed that goal.
Charlie Bolden, an administrator appointed by former President Democrat Barack Obama, also attended the ceremony on Monday, and former administrator Jim Bridenstine, who served in the administration of Republican Donald Trump, joined in via video.
According to Nelson, their participation testified to the desire to “show the continuity and support of both parties necessary to lead the country’s space program, and NASA in particular.”
In 1986, as a member of Congress, Nelson took part in a six-day space mission with other Columbia crew members. Since then, he has served on many of the Congressional Space and Science Committees.
“NASA is vital to U.S. national and economic security,” Harris posted on Twitter.
“Having decades of experience and how former astronaut Bill Nelson has become an administrator will give impetus to NASA’s science, aviation and technology missions,” the vice president added.
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