Bill Nelson, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Bill Nelson

Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Clarence William “Bill” Nelson was born in September 1942 in Miami, Florida. He attended the University of Florida and earned a B.A. from Yale University. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, and following his active duty tour, he began practicing law in Florida. He worked as a legislative assistant to Governor Reubin Askew. 

He served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives and later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He spent six years as Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and Fire Marshal of Florida before being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for 18 years.

In 1986, Nelson became the second sitting member of Congress, and the first member of the House, to travel into space. He was a payload specialist on Space Shuttle Columbia’s STS-61-C mission, the last successful Space Shuttle prior to the Challenger accident, which occurred ten days after the end of his mission. 

President Joe Biden nominated him as the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Senate confirmed him unanimously. He assumed office in May 2021. 

He is married to Grace Cavert and they have two adult children. He is a Presbyterian. 

In the News…

In his annual address to the NASA organization, Administrator Bill Nelson said, “We’re having this discussion today because President Biden and his administration released his budget request… NASA’s $26 billion fiscal year budget for ’23. It’s a request from the President, from us, and it is a significant increase over last year’s budget.” 

The NASA administrator provided several updates about the James Webb Telescope. He said the first batch of images of a new galaxy captured by the telescope will be released to the public in the summer. 

Administrator Nelson also addressed NASA’s plans to have astronauts return to the surface of the Moon and the establishment of a lunar space station. 

He concluded his address with an announcement of a plan to have an astronaut touchdown on the surface of Mars but did not indicate a timeframe. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Administrator Nelson today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Bill Nelson, Administrator 
NASA Headquarters 
300 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20546


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