What NASA's new chief says Houston's role will be in the future of space flight

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is in the process of visiting all of the NASA facilities across the country.

On Thursday, he visited Johnson Space Center.

On Friday, he will join NASA leaders to announce the first NASA astronaut crew assignments for the commercial crew vehicles.

What role will the Johnson Space Center play in the return to the moon?

"When we go back to the moon, we're going to stay this time,” said Bridenstine. “And when we stay on the surface of the moon, we're going to bring with us all of our international partners and our commercial partners, and all of that activity is going to be great for the Johnson Space Center and great for the American space program."

Any specifics on that role?

“As far as gateway specifically, what the role is, I don’t know at this point. I will tell you it will be big. So, I can say that," Bridenstine said.

Bridenstine met with a small group of reporters, including KPRC2.

“Certainly, Johnson will have a massive role in the lunar architecture. And I’ll hit this upfront as well: I don’t know what specific piece Johnson will have, but we do know that human activity is a big piece of what the president wants to do in terms of a lunar gateway and when it comes to service activities on the moon, and of course, Johnson is the hub for the entire world when it comes to human activities in space,” he said.

What did this former Navy pilot, congressman and Rice Owl learn in Houston that prepared him for his new job at NASA?

"The commitments that you can develop with relationships matters. It mattered at Rice University. Those relationships that I built then exist even today, and the relationships in Congress before I became the NASA administrator and the relationships that you have on the hill ultimately enable capabilities that I never would have dreamed of," he said.

What are your personal goals as administrator?

Bridenstine said many people do not fully understand how space exploration benefits their lives.

“If you ask me the one thing I’d like to accomplish in my lime as NASA administrator, and I dealt with this as a member of Congress -- most people are not aware how important space is to their everyday lives. Give list, the way we navigate, the way we communicate, Dish Network, DirecTV, internet broadband from space, the new constellations in low Earth orbit for low latency, internet broadband, which gives us capabilities that we don’t currently have. You think about the way we produce food. The way we produce energy,” he said.

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