NASA will have a new chief when the President-elect Joe Biden gets into the White House, as the current head of the aerospace agency Jim Bridenstine would reportedly step aside from his position.
It was reported that even if the Biden-Harris Administration asks him to keep his position, Bridenstine--who was sworn in as NASA Administrator in April 2018--would pass on the chair to someone else. He also clarified that he wants to ensure that politically the space agency has the best chance of thriving under new leadership.
What NASA Boss Is Thinking?
Biden has set some specific plans for his upcoming administration that includes, Coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, economy, and climate change. But when it comes to space programs, he did not say much, rather, it is not Biden's current priority.
However, while discussing the idea to step down from the position, Bridenstine--who has steered the agency through an eventful two and a half years--clearly told Aviation Week that it is all about what is in the best interest of NASA as an agency and what is the best interest of the country's space exploration program.
In a recent interview, which took place on Sunday, November 8 the NASA boss said that what is required is somebody who has "has a close relationship with the president of the US... [ a person] who is trusted by the administration.... including the Office of Management and Budget, the National Space Council, as well as the National Security Council" and "I think I would not be the right person for that in a new administration."
Bridenstine said that while the US is in a good position as a country, "there is a political agreement that America needs to do big things in space exploration, that we need to lead the world." He added that the country learned lessons from the past and "I think Congress is in a good position to make sure that we have sustainable programs going forward".
As he continued to explain his decision of stepping down and giving the chance to someone else, worthy of the position, Bridenstine said, "This has been the greatest experience of my life by far, and I'm so grateful for it. But I am under no illusions. There are a lot of people that can do great work as the NASA administrator."
Next NASA Boss
It is too early to speculate who is going to take the control of NASA after Bridenstine. But again, it should not be forgotten that the space policy is likely to be low on the list of Biden's priorities, as the next president has promised Americans to find solutions for four major issues of the country first.
From pandemic to climate change, when such major issues need to be solved as soon as possible, specifically within 100 days of Biden-Harris administration, NASA would face two threats under the Biden-Harris Administration--policy whiplash and budget cuts.
As per Biden's proposals, the $300 billion push in new R&D spending will power home-grown industries that can lead the world and create jobs in advanced materials, health and medicine, biotechnology, aerospace, artificial intelligence, clean energy, autos, telecommunications, and more. But the proposal doesn't directly mention NASA.