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NASA chief Jim Bridenstine will reportedly step down under Biden administration

The former Republican congressman reportedly thinks NASA should have a new chief.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.
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Corinne Reichert

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine will step down once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, according to a report. Bridenstine thinks NASA will have a better chance of political success with a new chief, Aviation Week reported Sunday. The new leader would have "a close relationship with the [next] president of the United States," Bridenstine reportedly said.

"The right question here is, 'What's in the best interest of NASA as an agency, and what's in the best interest of America's exploration program?'" Bridenstine told Aviation Week. "You need somebody who is trusted by the administration ... I think that I would not be the right person for that in a new administration."

Bridenstine, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, became NASA administrator in April 2018. While in Congress, he served on the Committee of Science, Space and Technology. 

NASA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but CNN also confirmed the news citing an unnamed source.

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