President Joe Biden nominated former Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson to serve as the National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA) administrator Friday morning before departing for Atlanta, Georgia.
Nelson served in the United States Senate from 2001-2019, where he was known as the “go-to senator for our nation’s space program,” the White House said in a press release. He was defeated in the 2018 midterm elections by then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott. (RELATED: US Commander Warns Of China’s Military Posture Across ‘Land, Sea, Air, Space’)
“Nelson chaired the Space Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives for 6 years and in the Senate was the Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Space and Science Subcommittee and Ranking Member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation,” the White House statement reads. “Most every piece of space and science law has had his imprint, including passing the landmark NASA bill of 2010 along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. That law set NASA on its present dual course of both government and commercial missions.”
The White House additionally noted that Nelson took part in a 1986 mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and orbited the earth nearly 100 times in just six days. He currently serves on NASA’s Advisory Council.