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Biographical Information Submitted by NASA Administrator Nominee James Bridenstine

Status Report From: United States Senate
Posted: Monday, September 18, 2017

A document has been posted on the Senate Commerce Committee website regarding NASA Administrator nominee James Bridnestine's qualifications to serve as NASA Administrator. The information was provided by Rep. Bridenstine himself. The hull document can be downloaded here.

Excerpts

"I believe NASA's top three challenges are:

- Maintaining consistency and constancy of purpose while establishing a consensus agenda that can bridge multiple administrations regardless of party. This is essential to avoid resource-wasting program cancellations and maintain high morale both within the Agency and its contractor workforce;

- Maintaining and building international partnerships while ending dependency on unfriendly nations to avoid exploitable vulnerabilities;

- Bringing together traditional space companies and new space entrepreneurs into a comprehensive NASA vision to maximize resources and create efficiencies."

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"My committee assignments and subcommittee chairmanship placed me in a position of responsibility for oversight of America's civil, commercial, and national security space. NASA is an incredible leadership and soft power tool for the United States of America. With NASA's global leadership, we will pioneer the solar system, sending humans back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond. This requires a consistent, sustainable strategy for deep space exploration.

I am fully familiar with NASA's role as a purchasing agent for NOAA and how critical this partnership is to protect lives and property. As a United States Representative from Oklahoma, I have led efforts to improve severe weather prediction and I have come to appreciate how complex Earth is as a system. NASA must continue studying our home planet. Unfortunately, Earth science sometimes gets pitted against planetary science for resources. This is not in the best interest of NASA, the United States, or the world. Mars once had a magnetic field, rivers, lakes, and an ocean on its north pole. At some point, Mars changed dramatically and we should strive to understand why. Studying other planets can inform our understanding of Earth. NASA must continue to advance both Earth science and planetary science for the benefit of mankind.

As the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, I saw children of all backgrounds benefit from NASA's STEM education programs. NASA's stunning achievements make it uniquely situated to educate, inspire and motivate future generations of Americans.

As a Naval Aviator, I was entrusted by the U.S. Government to fly aircraft worth over $80 million off aircraft carriers and to conduct battlefield command and control of hardware worth billions of dollars while protecting and enabling thousands of warfighters. I have flown combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and instructed at the highest levels of Naval Aviation. As a Navy Reservist, I have conducted counter-drug missions in Central and South America. I understand the importance of team cohesion for mission accomplishment. Military aviation has given me first-hand experience with national security space-based capabilities including navigation, communication, weather, imagery, and associated networks and waveforms.

I have participated in simulation experiments with future warfighting technologies and determined requirements necessary to support and initiate acquisition programs. On behalf of the armed forces, I have developed requests for proposal and evaluated the corporate responses. I understand the complexity of large acquisitions and the legal necessity of managing them properly. Serving as NASA Administrator would challenge me to utilize the sum total of my experiences and knowledge to lead one of America's most trusted and esteemed agencies. NASA has an unsurpassed track record of achievement enabled by brilliant scientists and engineers, fearless astronauts, and exceptionally capable technology companies. Given that record, contemplating the possibility of contributing to NASA's future success is both humbling and energizing. I can think of no higher honor in the service of my country than to lead NASA."

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