NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson mentioned he noticed the pinnacle of SpaceX final weekend and wished to listen to only one factor from her in gentle of firm proprietor Elon Musk’s tumultuous Twitter takeover.
“Inform me that the distraction that Elon might need on Twitter is just not 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 trade earlier Sunday after a information convention in Houston, mentioned the encounter befell after the Kennedy Heart 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 working SpaceX.
“I hugged her with a smile on my face, as a result of I do know she is working that factor. She’s working 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 People 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 chopping 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Nelson, a former U.S. senator and Home member from Florida, used to symbolize the Kennedy Area Heart in his outdated congressional district, and he flew on a Area Shuttle Columbia mission as a Home member in 1986.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 yr and has been a booster of public-private area exploration, particularly with SpaceX. Citing a Protection Division official, Nelson informed a Senate panel in Might 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 downside, but it surely had nothing to do with Musk — it involved belligerent tweets by Dimitry Olegovich Rogozin, the pinnacle of the Russian area company, Roscosmos, who steered Moscow might 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 method 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 trade 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.”