By Violet Wallerstein
Jim Bridenstine was sworn in as NASA administrator on April 23, with his hand on a Bible by Vice President Pence after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 19.
NASA states that Bridenstine took the position from Robert Lightfoot, who was the acting administrator from January 2017 until his planned resignation on April 30. While in the past there have been administrators who were not involved in science, Bridenstine is the first politician in this position which is causing some concern. He has no technical background in any scientific field.
Bridenstine has expressed interesting in having private companies be more involved in space exploration, according to the New York Times. CBS News reports that he supports President Trump’s national policy, which would include ending support for the International Space Station in 2025 and sending astronauts back to the moon as well as to Mars.
While in the past Bridenstine has denied climate change, during his confirmation he said that he does believe that humans have contributed to global warming. According to Verge, he also stated that he will look to scientists for what the best way is to study climate change. His other controversial views involve LGBT rights, since Bridenstine criticized the Supreme Court decision ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.