Biden to Tap Ex-Senator for NASA Boss as Moon Mission Approaches

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President Joe Biden intends to nominate former Senator Bill Nelson to lead NASA, the White House said Friday, as the agency prepares for a series of missions that aim to return U.S. astronauts to the moon.

Nelson, a Democrat, represented Florida in the Senate for 18 years until his defeat in 2018 by Rick Scott, a former governor of the state. Nelson had served as the chairman and ranking member of the Senate subcommittee that oversees NASA. He was also the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nelson would take over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as it prepares for the first launch in its Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon for the first time in decades. An unmanned mission is planned for this year.

The program reached a milestone Thursday when it successfully completed an eight-minute ground test of Boeing Co.’s Space Launch System rocket, the largest in U.S. history.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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