NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has revealed that he will step down as chief of the space agency under the Biden administration, even if he is asked to remain. Bridenstine explained that he believes it is in NASA’s interest that its administrator has “a close relationship with the president” and is trusted by the administration.
Bridenstine revealed the news in an interview with Aviation Week, stating that his departure under the Biden government would be to give the job to someone who is trusted by the National Security Council, National Space Council and others.
‘I don’t think I would be the right person for this in a new administration,’ explained Bridenstine, also saying that the agency’s successes under his leadership were ‘because of relationships’.
The NASA chief finally said the decision was not partisan and praised “the apolitical and bipartisan support” that Congress gave to the Artemis program. Bridenstine notes in the interview: “What I think is most important is to have continuity on purpose, and I think we now have that as much as possible.”
NASA has been working hard on its Artemis program to launch a series of lunar missions. The ultimate goal is for humans to return to our Moon by 2024, an ambitious timeframe amid other major agency goals. Lunar exploration itself is seen as a starting point for the agency’s eventual mission to send humans to Mars, where NASA has several rovers studying the environment.