The earlier administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr., stepped down on the finish of President Obama’s time period. Mr. Lightfoot, who was affiliate administrator, the third-highest rating place at NASA, took over as appearing administrator.
In September, President Trump nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine, Republican of Oklahoma, to be the following administrator. However the Senate has but to vote to verify Mr. Bridenstine.
All 49 Democrats within the Senate seem unified in opposition, partly as a result of Mr. Bridenstine gave a speech disparaging local weather change a number of years in the past. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, additionally has expressed doubts about Mr. Bridenstine.
The area company’s No. 2 place, deputy administrator, is vacant, and the Trump administration has but to appoint anybody to fill the publish. Steve Jurczyk, previously the affiliate administrator for area know-how, was named in late February to quickly fill Mr. Lightfoot’s earlier job.
NASA can also be missing a chief of employees.
Nonetheless, the company continues to discover the cosmos. Subsequent month, it’s scheduled to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc, or Tess, an area telescope that’s to seek for planets round different stars.
The InSight spacecraft is because of launch in Might for Mars, and the Parker Photo voltaic Probe is anticipated to start a yearslong mission to check the solar in July.
In August, Boeing and SpaceX each plan to carry out their first assessments of latest capsules which might be to hold NASA astronauts into orbit, and the Osiris-Rex spacecraft will rendezvous with an asteroid, Bennu, after a two-year journey.
Mr. Lightfoot’s 406-day time period as appearing administrator is by far the longest NASA has operated with out a everlasting chief, eclipsing the 176 days that handed in the beginning of the Obama administration earlier than Mr. Bolden was confirmed.