Biden taps former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson to lead NASA

Nelson, 78, flew in space in 1986
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018
Posted at 10:43 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 10:43:11-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — President Joe Biden has chosen a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle to lead NASA.

Biden announced his intent Friday.

Bill Nelson, 78, grew up near Cape Canaveral. He was a Democratic congressman when he launched aboard space shuttle Columbia in January 1986, just days before the Challenger launch accident.

His commander was Charles Bolden Jr., who later served as NASA administrator under President Barack Obama.

Nelson was elected in 2000 to the Senate, where he served until 2018.