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Local & Regional

Bridenstine Sworn in as NASA Administrator

Joel Kowsky

It's official: Jim Bridenstine is now the administrator of NASA.

Bridenstine was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence Monday afternoon at NASA headquarters in Washington.

Pence said Bridenstine is taking charge of the agency at a time when interest in its goals are on the upswing and so are its responsibilities.

"Under Space Policy Directive 1, we will send American astronauts back to the moon, and after that, we will establish the capacity with international and commercial partners to send Americans to Mars. And NASA will lead the way," Pence said.

Bridenstine said he hopes to live up to the legacies of NASA's previous 12 leaders.

"I will do my best to serve our storied agency to the utmost of my abilities as we reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind," Bridenstine said. "NASA represents what is best about the United States of America: We lead, we discover, we pioneer and we inspire."

Bridenstine briefly spoke to three astronauts on the International Space Station after being sworn in.

Bridenstine was confirmed by the Senate last week on a 50–49 party-line vote. He is the second Oklahoman confirmed as the head of an agency under President Donald Trump.