President Trump has announced his nomination of Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine to serve as the new NASA Administrator. From the announcement this evening:
James Bridensine of Oklahoma to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.Mr. Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma's First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Mr. Bridenstine began his Naval aviation career flying the E-2C Hawkeye off the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. It was there that he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. While on active duty, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew as an "aggressor" at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. After leaving active duty, Mr. Bridenstine returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium and flew counter-drug mission in Central and South America in the Navy Reserve. He holds a triple major from Rice University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University. Mr. Bridenstine is currently a member of the 137th Special Operations Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
If confirmed by the Senate, this appointment would trigger a special election in the 1st Congressional District. There's already a crowded field of candidates seeking to replace Bridenstine, who had pledged to not seek a fourth term in the U.S. House.