NASA
NASA

Jim Bridenstine was narrowly confirmed on Thursday by the Senate to run the U.S. space agency, more than seven months after being nominated by President Donald Trump to lead NASA.

“It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator,” said Bridenstine, who, unlike many of his predecessors, is not a scientist.

“I look forward to working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the President’s vision for American leadership in space,” he said.

Bridenstine, a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve and former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District.

He currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Bridenstine, a Trump supporter, emerged as a favorite pick for the NASA administrator immediately after Trump won the presidential election in November 2016.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Jim Bridenstine to NASA,” said NASA’s acting administrator Robert Lightfoot. “He joins our great agency at a time when we are poised to accomplish historic milestones across the full spectrum of our work.”

“I’m looking forward to him building on our great momentum and sharing our many strengths to help us make the next giants leaps on behalf of humanity.”

Bridenstine sponsored a bill called the American Space Renaissance Act in which he proposed ambitious goals to advance the country’s space program.

However, his appointment had been controversial in past months because he once denied the climate change caused by human activities, an area in which NASA scientists are studying.

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