Former astronaut Pam Melroy confirmed as NASA deputy administrator

NASA’s high two jobs at the moment are formally crammed.

The U.S. Senate confirmed former astronaut Pam Melroy as NASA deputy administrator on Thursday (June 17), about six weeks after doing the identical for space agency chief Bill Nelson.

“It’s an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as NASA deputy administrator, and I am humbled by President Biden and Vice President Harris’ confidence in me,” Melroy said in a statement.

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“I look forward to returning to the NASA family and working with Administrator Nelson to ensure the United States continues to lead in space and beyond — exploring the wonders of the universe, expanding the Earth science research critical to combating climate change, unlocking scientific discoveries that will change the world as we know it and inspiring the next generation of discoverers and dreamers,” she added.

Melroy’s affirmation was by no means actually doubtful. She acquired broad bipartisan assist throughout her Senate confirmation hearing last month, and her resume is extraordinarily robust. 

Melroy served within the U.S. Air Force earlier than becoming a member of NASA. She flew three space shuttle missions, piloting STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002 and commanding STS-120 in 2007. She is certainly one of solely two girls, together with NASA astronaut Eileen Collins, to command a shuttle mission.

After retiring from NASA in 2009, she took a number of high-profile jobs within the aerospace and protection sectors. She labored at Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for instance, and served as deputy director of the Tactical Technology Office on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

She additionally has Nelson’s full assist.

“Pam is a pioneer and veteran of NASA, and will be an outstanding leader as we venture farther out to the stars,” Nelson, a former Democratic senator from Florida, stated in the identical assertion. “We certainly are lucky to have her on board, and I look forward to leading NASA with her as a team.”

Melroy wasn’t the one individual to get a thumbs-up from the Senate on Thursday. The chamber additionally confirmed oceanographer Rick Spinrad as chief of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which companions with NASA on some Earth-observing missions.

Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook concerning the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

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