Clarence (Bill) William Nelson Senate confirms ex-Sen. Nelson to NASA Bill Nelson is a born-again supporter of commercial space at NASA Lobbying world MORE nomination hearings for NASA administrator, the nominee, a former senator, broke with some of his previous positions on space policy.
The one thing that raised a lot of eyebrows was Nelson’s enthusiastic support for commercial space at NASA. He expressed approval of the commercial crew program that is sending astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). He claimed in his opening statement to have always supported commercial space. He even supported the recent selection of SpaceX’s Lunar Starship as the first crewed moon lander in 50 years.
Contrary to his opening statement, Nelson was not always as enthusiastic about commercial space flight. In 2010, according to Space News , the then-senator proposed zeroing out the commercial crew program and applying the money to the heavy lift rocket that would shortly be called the Space Launch System (SLS).