Senator Bill Nelson was known to his Shuttle crewmates as "Congressman Ballast." He got there by political strings, not merit. This is the man that is questioning Rep. Jim Bridenstine's qualifications to head up NASA.
.@SenBillNelson is not a real Astronaut he has no science background he is not a pilot he bullied his way onboard one of the shuttles as a member of congress. This is the same clown that is questioning @RepJBridenstine's qualifications to head up @NASA https://t.co/TF6mJ7NJPu— Pat Campbell (@PC1170) January 21, 2018
What Qualified Bill Nelson To Be An Astronaut? Politics.
"Nelson is the committee's ranking Democrat. He's also the only sitting congressman to have flown on the space shuttle and hails from the part of Florida that includes Cape Canaveral. During the hearing, Nelson said that Bridenstine's "time as a pilot and your service to our country in the military is certainly commendable," but he said it doesn't qualify him to "make the complex and nuanced engineering, safety and budgetary decisions for which the head of NASA must be accountable."
Keith's note: Odd. Nelson overtly used his political position to force NASA to fly him on a space shuttle mission. His only professional qualification? He was a lawyer. That's it. His (not so) secret astronaut nickname was "ballast". If NASA can teach a lawyer how to be an astronaut then I am certain that a fighter pilot with extensive combat experience (just like 3 previous NASA Administrators and many, many astronauts), 3 terms in Congress, with a MBA can be taught to run NASA. Just sayin'.