After the head of NASA Jim Bridenstein resigned yesterday (January 20), President Joe Biden’s administration has appointed Steve Yurchik as acting administrator until the role is permanent.
According to him, Jurczyk has been an associate administrator of the agency since May 2018. Biography of NASA; He has been with NASA since 1988. Yurchik is one of 34 current leaders announced by Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, hours after their inauguration.
In a message to the staff of the agency obtained from SpaceRef, Jurczyk thanked Bridenstine and highlighted the events of the coming months, citing plans to return people to the moon, but without naming Artemis program, a product of the administration of President Donald Trump, explicitly.
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“Nor can we be proud of how every civil servant and executor has stepped up to move NASA̵
Biden has not yet announced a nominee to run the agency permanently. Trump nominated Bridenstein as head of the agency in September 2017, but the confirmation process was controversial and the Senate approved the nomination by April 2018, leaving NASA in the hands of acting administrator Robert Lightfoot for 15 months. Bridenstein was the 13th NASA administrator and the first to lead the agency after serving in an elected position; he represented Oklahoma’s first county seat in the House of Representatives.
The change of leadership is coming hot on the heels of critical but imperfect test of NASA’s massive lunar rocket, Space launch system. During the hot fire test, the engines fired in the main stage for only 67 seconds, not the target 8 minutes. NASA officials will now have to decide whether to repeat the test or focus on an unwrapped launch scheduled for the end of this year.
In addition, the agency will perform a difficult feat in less than a month when its Mars rover Mars 2020, Perseverance, landed on the Red Planet on February 18. The agency, like the rest of the federal government, is facing a double public and economic health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These government officials, like many others in the federal government, are committed to serving the American people, not a political party or program,” Biden said. said in a statement announcing the current heads of dozens of state agencies. “Their management experience and commitment to the service will allow this administration to take the reins as we prepare to tackle the pandemic and our economy moves again. I am grateful for their willingness to step up and help in these difficult times and to help. we make sure the government continues to work and serve the American people. “
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