Factional bickering dominates nomination hearing for NASA administrator


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Quite boring. Factional bickering yesterday between Democrats and Republicans dominated the nomination hearing of Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma) for NASA administrator.

Today’s contentious nomination hearing for Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be NASA Administrator was split along partisan lines. Democratic Senators questioned his credentials and viewpoints about climate change, sexual harassment and other issues that could affect how he runs the agency and its personnel. Republicans defended him and chafed at the tenor of the hearing. The committee could vote as early as next week on whether to send the nomination to the full Senate.

I did not watch the hearing because I knew this would be what I’d see and I didn’t want to be bored for two hours. It ain’t news anymore to find Democrats opposing anything proposed by the Republicans. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter. Bridenstine will almost certainly be approved along partisan lines in the Senate, and nothing I have read about him suggests he is going to do anything significant or radical. He has made it clear, both in recent interviews and articles as well as his testimony yesterday as reported by numerous articles that he does not wish to rock the boat. He supports all of NASA’s current programs, commercial space, SLS/Orion, climate research, everything. I do not expect him to make any radical changes in the direction NASA is going.

In fact, the people who will change NASA are not even in the government. I expect the actions of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to have far greater impact in the coming years, with politicians and bureaucrats in NASA forced to follow them, as they have been forced to follow Musk during the past half decade.

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