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Biden picks former senator who flew in space to lead NASA

Sen. Bill Nelson
Posted at 4:38 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 16:38:21-04

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

Biden announced his intent Friday to nominate Bill Nelson as the space agency's administrator.

The 78-year-old Nelson grew up near Cape Canaveral. He was a Democratic congressman when he launched aboard space shuttle Columbia in January 1986, right 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.