U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine

The Trump administration has selected a second Oklahoma official to lead a federal agency.
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine has been tapped for the administrator position at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The announcement came Friday, and it could have a domino effect back in Oklahoma.
The congressman serves in the Oklahoma Air National Guard and is a former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. He was elected to Congress in 2012 and currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. He has pushed to revitalize moon research and visits, given the existence of frozen water on the surface.
If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine would play a key role in President Donald Trump’s plans to add human exploration of Mars to NASA’s mission. NASA is aiming for astronauts on Mars sometime in the 2030s.
NASA is one of the primary agencies that conducts climate science research. Bridenstine sponsored a bill that would divert money away from climate research in order to spend more on weather forecasting. His argument: Dozens of agencies pay for climate research, but only the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gets funding for forecasting research, and it shares its budget with climate research as well.

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