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NASA's Acting Administrator to Retire as Nominee Impasse Continues

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-03-12 20:46:13

NASA's acting administrator, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. [], has announced that he will retire on April 30 []. The U.S. Senate has not yet voted on confirming Jim Bridenstine [] as a permanent replacement:

In September, President Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine [], a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, to be the next administrator. But the Senate has yet to vote to confirm Mr. Bridenstine.

All 49 Democrats in the Senate appear unified in opposition, in part because Mr. Bridenstine gave a speech disparaging climate change several years ago. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has also expressed doubts about Mr. Bridenstine.

The space agency's No. 2 position, deputy administrator, is vacant. The Trump administration has yet to nominate anyone. Steve Jurczyk, formerly the associate administrator for space technology, was named in late February as a temporary fill-in for Mr. Lightfoot's previous job, associate administrator. NASA is also lacking a chief of staff.

Mr. Lightfoot's 406 days as acting administrator is by far the longest NASA has operated without a permanent leader, eclipsing the 176 days that passed at the start of the Obama administration before Mr. Bolden was confirmed.

Previously: President Trump Nominates Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Lead NASA []

Related: President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1 []

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