NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson mentioned he noticed the top of SpaceX final weekend and needed to listen to only one factor from her in mild of firm proprietor Elon Musk’s tumultuous Twitter takeover.
“Inform me that the distraction that Elon might need on Twitter shouldn’t be going to have an effect on SpaceX,” Nelson, recalling the dialog, mentioned he requested Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and CEO.
“I guarantee you, it isn’t,” Shotwell responded, in accordance with Nelson. “You don’t have anything to fret about.”
Nelson, who first talked about the alternate earlier Sunday after a news conference in Houston, mentioned the encounter happened after the Kennedy Middle Honors in Washington D.C., on Dec. 5 and that it was fully pleasant as a result of he is aware of Shotwell — not Musk — is operating SpaceX.
“I hugged her with a smile on my face, as a result of I do know she is operating that factor. She’s operating SpaceX,” Nelson mentioned.
Requested whether or not he has any considerations about SpaceX, Nelson mentioned, “No, I don’t.”
NASA pays billions to SpaceX to shuttle astronauts and cargo to and from the Worldwide Area Station. The corporate additionally received the competitors to take Individuals to the moon on the finish of 2025 as a part of NASA’s Artemis 3 mission.
“That one will go into lunar orbit, and the crew will switch right into a SpaceX lander, and that can go right down to the floor of the moon,” Nelson mentioned, praising SpaceX for reducing prices and offering good service “when it comes to supply of each crew and cargo to the Worldwide Area Station.”
SpaceX couldn’t be instantly reached for remark Sunday.
Nelson, a former U.S. senator and Home member from Florida, used to signify the Kennedy Area Middle in his previous congressional district, and he flew on a Area Shuttle Columbia mission as a Home member in 1986.
Nelson, a longtime good friend and former Senate colleague of President Joe Biden’s, was tapped to steer NASA final 12 months and has been a booster of public-private area exploration, particularly with SpaceX. Citing a Protection Division official, Nelson told a Senate panel in May that SpaceX might need saved taxpayers as a lot as $40 billion in launch prices.
Quickly after he took over NASA, Nelson had a significant Twitter troll drawback, nevertheless it had nothing to do with Musk — it involved belligerent tweets by Dimitry Olegovich Rogozin, the top of the Russian area company, Roscosmos, who steered Moscow may crash the Worldwide Area Station into Earth or go away a U.S. astronaut behind. Nelson urged calm, and shortly Russian President Vladimir Putin changed Rogozin with Yuri Borisov, whom Nelson calls a “actual skilled.”
From an area perspective, Nelson mentioned, the connection with Russia is a “very skilled relationship, and it’s been that manner ever since 1975, Apollo–Soyuz,” which was the primary crewed worldwide area mission between the U.S. and Russia, identified then because the Soviet Union.
And as for Musk’s tweets, Nelson mentioned he’s not specializing in them past the pleasant alternate with Shotwell.
“The proof is within the pudding,” Nelson mentioned. “Have a look at what SpaceX is delivering in crew and cargo to the area station.”