The rumored nomination of former senator Bill Nelson for the top job at NASA is drawing criticism from space industry insiders who view the Florida Democrat as a dinosaur and question his commitment to moving the agency forward.
First reported by Breaking Defense, the rumor would infuriate many in the industry if true. Simon Porter, an astrophysicist on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, said on Twitter, “That would be incredibly dumb … Nelson represents everything NASA needs to get away from.”
Nelson is “pushing hard” to become NASA administrator by leveraging his personal relationship with Biden, according to Ars Technica. But critics are pushing back, describing the 78-year-old ex-senator as a relic of the old guard whose track record supporting major in-house projects spells danger for the burgeoning commercial space industry.
Eli Dourado, a researcher at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, said he worries Nelson would take NASA in the wrong direction. “The agency has been at its best when it has worked to create new commercial capabilities that it can then leverage in its science mission. Nelson has made a career of opposing this approach, instead favoring big-dollar programs that create jobs in Florida.” One space insider who asked to remain nameless said, “Nelson would be a disaster.”
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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