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NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine

GoTslaGo

Learning Member
Dec 25, 2015
3,063
4,709
US
Trump Picks Oklahoma Congressman To Head NASA

Quote:

President Trump's pick for the next leader of NASA is a fighter pilot who wants Americans to return to the moon but doesn't believe that humans are causing climate change.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma has to be confirmed by the Senate before taking charge of NASA, and the two senators who represent Florida's Space Coast have already publicly objected to the choice of a politician as head of the space agency.

======

"I would say that the climate is changing. It has always changed. There were periods of time long before the internal combustion engine when the Earth was much warmer than it is today," he told Aerospace America in a 2016 interview.

Such views are sure to alarm scientists, because NASA conducts a huge amount of the global research on climate change.

Despite those opinions, however, Bridenstine said in that same interview, "I'm a guy that comes from Oklahoma and I have absolutely no problem studying the climate. That's what these assets do. They study the climate. There's nothing wrong with that."

======

Bridenstine is seen as a proponent of commercial space companies, and has said that the government "understands that in the future, and even today, it will be a customer of routine space services, not a provider of routine space services."

He has also pushed measures that would allow commercial companies to gather and sell weather forecasting data that would integrate with U. S. weather forecasting models.

======

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation has endorsed the pick, as has Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican.

End quote.
 
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Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,405
20,027
San Diego
Yes, as much as the right wing press likes to disparage Elon for his government dollars sucking ability, it is a fact that his companies do suck a lot of government dollars (or subsidies). I have little doubt that his changed tune about a moon base has to do with NASA priorities. NASA has probably made clear that a moon base is a Mars stepping stone.

Hopefully, Elon will get to Mars, and then we'll be able to meet the rest of his race :)
 
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Nikxice

Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
1,073
1,799
Hudson, NH
Mixed feelings about this guy. A moon base, that's all good. Timely for SpaceX, especially now that they're apparently open to taking a detour prior to Mars. However, Elon and many at NASA are probably holding their noses. SpaceX will likely be recognized as a valuable partner by Bridenstine, but his failure to acknowledge who, what is responsible for disrupting our climate is unsettling. The EPA, Dept. of Energy, and now NASA, recruiting only the finest to lead these science based government agencies.
 
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AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,038
26,416
Poring through this: Issues | U.S. House of Representatives will give each the ability to learn of the Senator's stance on all issues he deems important.

How these views also gibe with his ability to run NASA both are debatable and should be debated. Furthermore, how the Senate would change were he to be replaced...by whom...also is worthy of analysis.
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,755
7,016
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Reviving and old thread to comment on Bridenstine. Overall, I have been very pleased with where he directed NASA. It's a tough position to be in where Congress controls your purse strings and their agenda is counter to actually getting things done. I hope that if the administration changes in the upcoming election that Biden keeps Bridenstine around to follow through on what his leadership has addressed.
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,405
20,027
San Diego
Reviving and old thread to comment on Bridenstine. Overall, I have been very pleased with where he directed NASA. It's a tough position to be in where Congress controls your purse strings and their agenda is counter to actually getting things done. I hope that if the administration changes in the upcoming election that Biden keeps Bridenstine around to follow through on what his leadership has addressed.

I doubt that would happen. I'm pretty sure NASA administrator is seen as a patronage appointment. If you go back the last 20-30 years of who is helming NASA, you'll see it changes pretty much every time there is a new President.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,198
13,848
San Mateo, CA
When Bridenstine took over I was skeptical of his ability and analytical capability. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, particularly at his willingness to use and support private space companies.
 
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Nikxice

Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
1,073
1,799
Hudson, NH
He knows SpaceX delivers but he is also a Trumpista ex Congressman. Thus his primary focus is politics ratehr than rational decisions. Still I am confident he'd rather have SLS. Just look at his video congratulating the new Astronaut arrives at ISA. He had only Republicans there and they ignored the Russian who provide ULA their motive force.
This is not intended to be political commentary but rather recognizing that SLS has gigantic political power whether it ever flies or not.
Yup, Jim will take care of Jimbo first, along with the agenda of the hands that feed him. I think he supports both SLS and Starship, although he's unlikely to be Administrator if or when SLS/Orion ever successfully achieves a crewed Moon landing. He's still relatively young (45), so I could see him eventually running for a Oklahoma U.S. Senate seat, probably to replace the aging, raging, climate change denier James Inhofe (Be interesting to see how Bridenstine's views have evolved on that issue). Bridenstine should have plenty of support. In 2012 he beat a Republican incumbent and then ran unopposed in 2014. Therein lies a clue as to why I believe Bridenstine's suppressed persona might be a stronger supporter of Starship than many might imagine. He won his first race by running further right of his opponent, as a candidate on the fringe of the Tea Party (He gladly accepted those supporters, but didn't want to attach his name to that label).
A major focus of the Tea Party is their belief in smaller government coupled with decreased spending. Which clearly contradicts Jim's public support for funding the SLS black hole. I think he does so by biting his tongue and holding his nose. If Biden wins in November, having Bridenstine around for a couple more years could unmuzzle him. His stinging line last year to Elon and SpaceX, “It’s time to deliver", might get aimed at Boeing multiplied by 10.

Moderator edit: I copied this post on Jim's thread but left it in the SLS thread as well since the comment pertains to both.
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,755
7,016
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I'm sure there are quite a few Congresspeople that would like to see Jim go away. They want their taxpayer funds to just keep flowing into their districts and states. Accomplishing something is secondary to those jobs and businesses continuing. They like cost plus programs. It's Bridenstine who wants to see goals met and achievements made. Bridenstine understands that his current boss wants his name plastered on those accomplishments. Who knows whether Bridenstine will keep pushing as hard under a new administration. Hopefully the new administration sees that having accomplishments out of NASA is good for the country and continues with Bridenstine and lets him push even harder on Congress and the wasteful old school contractors. We'll have to see what happens in November and beyond.
 
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AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,038
26,416
I tried to write a cogent, thoughtful response to Bridenstine’s announcement, but I was not able to do so without violating the forum’s restriction on political posts. So I have to keep it only to the briefest outline:

I agree with Bridenstine: throughout the entire breadth of any administration, appointments should be made by those with knowledge and experience in the given field and not by political hacks who ‘get along well’ with the boss. *I’m using ‘hack’ as a neutral term, here. Nothing offensive meant or should be implied.*
 
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hmcgregoraz

Member
Jul 16, 2014
109
187
Tucson AZ USA
Since the Biden transition is still up in the air pending court challenges, I’ll leave this here. The urgency to get to the moon was a Trump admin priority, I believe. It’ll be interesting to see what a new administration will do. In particular, we know Bridenstein won’t be heading it up:

NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden | Aviation Week Network

I really would prefer if he would stick around until the Biden transition team comes up with a solid replacement, and requests to transition it.

VS at least what the article reads, which is "January 20th I am out".

-Harry
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,755
7,016
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I moved the announcement and posts to this thread on the man. Personally, I thought he did an outstanding job. His focus on the transition from a fairly strict government agency to one that is willing to support commercial efforts was a step in the direction that NASA really needed to accomplish. It took a while but he embraced SpaceX and recognized what they could do and supported them where he could.

I can only hope that the person who takes over the position continues the path he set forth. I doubt SLS will be abandoned anytime soon. Hopefully scientific missions will be funded better and move forward. I have little doubt that SpaceX will continue to be embraced and their role expanded under any administration. They are just great at what they do. Once Starship and Super Heavy are successfully proven to work then I expect they will be embraced and used as much as possible.
 

TLej

Little-Known Member
Dec 29, 2015
483
478
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
As a non-American I don't have any vested interests in the politics, but as someone who has avidly followed the US (and Canadian) space program since I was old enough to read, I find his decision to be a classy move if somewhat disappointing. He did seem to be doing a really good job contrary to early expectations/fears, and it seems that NASA could use some long-term stability in leadership as well as in priorities. It is unfortunate when politics interferes with the ability to get the job done, but I have no doubt that he is correct in his assessment that NASA needs friends in high places in order to be able to get things done. Too bad that the political environment doesn't allow that to be done across party lines, but if he feels he's not the best person to keep things moving under a new administration, at least he was up-front and honest about it.
 
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outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,592
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in the moment
Jim's move is very common. Many political appointees will tender resignation near inauguration. Some are asked to stay on for various reasons. Some won't. He took his a little further saying I won't at all.

Could see even if viewed as an effective leader by next admisstation would always be viewed by some differently. Fighting those battles is not sometimes worth it. Jim might have other pastures to sow.
 

Nikxice

Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
1,073
1,799
Hudson, NH
There was some belief that Bridenstine might stick around, the exception and not the rule to January 20th departures. He likely had a better chance of survival. Biden might have invited him to stay in a bipartisan effort to include Republicans in his administration.

Bridenstine's announcement seems proactively calculating. He can leave honorably, with success and praise. An Artemis 2024 Moon landing is extremely unlikely. Who can blame Jim for wanting to avoid the associated heat and disappointment when that timeline doesn't pan out? He was directed to just make it happen. I also think he's done being the explainer for the wasteful SLS. Well played Jimbo.
 

bxr140

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
2,684
3,587
Bay Area
Biden might have invited him to stay in a bipartisan effort to include Republicans in his administration.

Certainly he would be a strong candidate.

I agree on a well timed departure, though my pragmatic perspective reads his statements on trust as an unfortunate sign of the times and, more disappointingly, insight into Bridenstine's true character.

A person of better stead would have deferred comment now, then politely declined any offer with humility and deference.

Without invoking political affiliation.
 
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