Enlarge / Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) is likely to be NASA’s next administrator. (credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
NASA may finally be close to getting some clarity about its leadership during the Trump administration. On Tuesday, NASA Watch reported that the President will nominate US Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), as administrator and Aerojet Rocketdyne Vice President John Schumacher as deputy administrator.
Both men have been rumored to be nominated for these posts in recent weeks, but there have been no official confirmations as yet.
Two sources familiar with Washington, DC, space politics confirmed the choices to Ars, but one of them offered a caveat. “I have heard same from multiple sources, but this is Trump world,” one DC-based source said.
A formal announcement has been in the works for September, but a date and location have not yet been set.
A NASA spokeswoman did not reply to a query from Ars on Tuesday evening.
John Logsdon, a noted space historian and author of several books, including After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program, said he has been hearing the same names. “Appointing Jim Bridenstine and John Schumacher as the top two NASA officials is an intriguing and potentially very productive move,” Logsdon told Ars, via e-mail. “Bridenstine, for several years, has been conceptualizing what is needed for, as he suggests, an ‘American Space Renaissance’ and has been testing his ideas with multiple audiences.
Schumacher is a Washington space community veteran, with years of both senior NASA and space industry executive experience.
Together, they can bring both fresh ideas and a sense of political and policy realism to the space agency.”
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