Read More: SpaceNews.com
WASHINGTON — NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot formally took over as acting administrator of NASA Jan. 20 as the new Trump administration assigned two people to positions within the agency. Lightfoot, the top civil servant at NASA, told employees in an internal memo Jan. 20 that he was “filled with humility and optimism” as he temporarily assumed leadership of the agency. He took over from Charles Bolden and Dava Newman, who stepped down as administrator and deputy administrator, respectively, at the end of President Obama’s term. “To be entrusted with this incredible agency, no matter how long, is an honor, and I commit to serving this team to the best of my ability so we can accomplish our ambitious missions and make this nation proud,” Lightfoot said in the memo. How long Lightfoot will remain acting administrator is not clear. The Trump administration has not announced a nominee for the position of NASA administrator. Once announced, it will likely be several weeks before the Senate votes to confirm the nomination.