NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is planning to step aside once president-elect Joe Biden takes over, according to Aviation Week.
“The right question here is ‘What’s in the best interest of NASA as an agency, and what’s in the best interest of America’s exploration program?’” he told the site over the weekend.
“For that, what you need is somebody who has a close relationship with the president of the United States,” he added, noting that some key figures would need to be “trusted by the administration,” and that he would not “be the right person for that in a new administration.”
Bridenstine became NASA administrator back in 2018 after serving as a Republican representative for Oklahoma.
During his relatively short tenure, key public-private industry ties have blossomed into significant advancements in the agency’s plans to return astronauts to the Moon.
In fact, on Saturday, the agency is planning to send the first ever operational crew to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
“There is a political agreement that America needs to do big things in space exploration, that we need to lead the world,” Bridenstine told Aviation Week. “There have been lessons learned from the past, and I think Congress is in a good position to make sure that we have sustainable programs going forward.”
It’s still far too early to talk about who his successor will be.
“This has been the greatest experience of my life by far, and I’m so grateful for it,” he said in the Aviation Week piece. “But I am under no illusions. There are a lot of people that can do great work as the NASA administrator.”
READ MORE: NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden [Aviation Week]
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