NEW ORLEANS (AP) — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is expressing full support for President Donald Trump's proposed military "space force," but says it will have a role separate from NASA.
Bridenstine said Monday in New Orleans that NASA's role involves science, space exploration and technology development. He said the agency should remain independent from national security and defense issues.
Bridenstine was touring the Michoud (mih-SHEWD) Assembly Center, where workers are putting together major parts of the systems that are planned to return U.S. astronauts to the moon and, eventually, take them to Mars. That includes the 322-foot-tall (98-meter-tall) rocket known as the Space Launch System, and the spacecraft called Orion.
Bridenstine is a former Republican congressman. He was nominated by Trump to head NASA last year and was confirmed by the Senate in April.