Jim Bridenstine was sworn in as NASA’s 13th administrator on April 23, 2018. Since Administrator Bridenstine joined NASA, there have been significant gains in commercial engagement on the orbiting laboratory through the joint ISS National Laboratory and NASA partnership. Notably, more than 70 percent of the research payloads flown to the ISS National Lab in fiscal year 2018 had significant private-sector contributions. Additionally, U.S. companies manage 14 commercially-operated facilities on the ISS that are available for use by a diverse customer base. In total, ISS National Lab has brought in more than $150 million in external, non-NASA funds for research and development.
Prior to becoming NASA administrator, Bridenstine served in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. In Congress, he led bipartisan efforts to improve government acquisition of space capabilities and enhance public-private partnerships to return humans to space. In April 2016, Bridenstine introduced the American Space Renaissance Act (H.R. 4945), comprehensive reform legislation with provisions affecting national security, civil, and commercial space policy. Before his election to Congress, Bridenstine served the country as a highly decorated Naval Aviator flying combat missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.