U.S. President Joe Biden announced Friday he plans to nominate former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to lead the U.S. space agency, NASA.
In a statement, the White House says as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a three-term senator from Florida, Nelson, a Democrat, chaired committees on space, science and transportation. They also note he co-authored the landmark 2010 NASA bill which set the current path of private-sector partnership.
In the statement, the White House notes Nelson, as a congressman in 1986, even flew on a six-day space shuttle mission. He currently serves on the NASA advisory council.
Nelson, if approved by the Senate, would take over the agency as commercial space projects are already shuttling supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station.
NASA is also preparing to return astronauts to the moon in the next four years.
Nelson’s nomination has already received the endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican.
“I cannot think of anyone better to lead NASA than Bill Nelson,” Rubio tweeted on Thursday.
If approved, Nelson would be NASA’s 14th administrator, and would take over from the Trump administration’s appointee, former Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine.