Bill Nelson backs NASA’s Moon plans, climate change work in confirmation hearing

Nelson smiles for cameras before his Senate confirmation hearing to be NASA’s 14th administrator.

President Biden’s pick for NASA administrator, former Sen. Bill Nelson, breezed through his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, as expected. Facing questions from his “old buddies” about NASA’s commercial partnerships, climate change, and workforce diversity, Nelson’s hearing was uneventful and garnered bipartisan praise. He backed the agency’s current plan to send its first crew of astronauts to the Moon on a SpaceX rocket and emphasized NASA’s role in studying climate change.

Just over a month after being tapped by Biden for NASA chief, Nelson told lawmakers he supported the president’s 2022 summary budget request for NASA and defended the $2.3 billion it set out for the agency’s Earth sciences wing — a 15 percent increase from…

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