NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has revealed that he will be leaving as head of the space agency under the Biden administration even if asked to remain. Bridenstine explained that he believes it is in the best interest of NASA that its administrator has ‘a close relationship with the president’ and who is trusted by the administration.
Bridenstine revealed the news in an interview with Aviation Week, stating that his exit under the Biden administration would be giving the position to someone who is trusted by the National Security Council, National Space Council, and others.
‘I think that I would not be the right person for that in a new administration,’ Bridenstine explained, also stating that the agency’s successes under his leadership have been ‘because of the relationships.’
The NASA head ultimately said the decision isn’t partisan and praised ‘the bipartisan, apolitical support’ Congress has given for the Artemis program. Bridenstine notes in the interview, ‘The thing I think is most important is to have continuity of purpose, and I think right now we have that as much as you possibly can.’
NASA has been working hard under its Artemis program to launch a number of lunar missions. The ultimate goal is the return of humans to our Moon by 2024, an ambitious deadline amid the agency’s other vast goals. The lunar exploration is itself viewed as a launching point for the agency’s eventual mission to send humans to Mars, where NASA has multiple rovers studying the environment.