Expect our new NASA spaceships and telescopes to come fully equipped with technologically advanced truck nuts.
On Friday, the White House announced that Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine has been nominated to be the next administrator of NASA. With Scott Pruitt leading the EPA, it means native Oklahomans will now hold two of the most powerful and prominent science-related jobs in the US government. Terrifying, huh?
Representative Jim Bridenstine, Republican of Oklahoma, will be nominated by President Trump to serve as NASA’s next administrator, the White House said on Friday night.
Mr. Bridenstine, a strong advocate for drawing private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin more deeply into NASA’s exploration of space, had been rumored to be the leading candidate for the job, but months passed without an announcement. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Bridenstine, 42, would be the first elected official to hold that job.
That's great news! It looks like Mary Fallin finally has the connection she needs to get Hipster Boo Boo accepted into Space Camp. She'll do great.
That being said, this seems weird. At least Scott Pruitt's appointment to the EPA made sense (Harold Hamm, Larry Nichols and our other Oil Overlords needed an eager, calculating henchman to help the destroy the agency from the inside). What does Bridenstine bring to NASA? How is he qualified? Are the oil companies wanting to frack and pollute the moon or something?
Although NASA has little presence in Oklahoma, Mr. Bridenstine, a former Navy Reserve pilot who is now in his third term in the House Representatives, has long had an interest in space. Before being elected to Congress in 2012, he was executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium from 2008 to 2010.
Last year, he sponsored a bill called the American Space Renaissance Act, which proposed broad, ambitious goals for the nation’s space program, including directing NASA to devise a 20-year plan. Even when he introduced it, he acknowledged that he did not expect it to become law but to serve as a starting point for space issues.
Oh. He was the director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium! I'm sure that experience will give him the knowledge and experience needed to lead a multi-billion dollar government agency. Maybe Trump can also appoint Teri Bowers, the Director of the Oklahoma Aquarium, to be the next Admiral of the US Navy.
Anyway, you can read the entire article about Bridenstine here. For what it's worth, I don't mind seeing a deserving Oklahoman put in position of power in the Trump Administration, but putting one of us in charge of NASA just seems like a mistake. We should be leading things like the Department of Agriculture or The National Mobile Home Administration. Instead of including a golden record on our next spaceship, Bridenstine will probably just toss in a couple of Garth Brooks CDs and a Rib Crib gift card.