Earlier this week is appeared that former Air Force major general Jonathan Scott Gration would be nominated this week as NASA administrator. However, the week has come and gone, and although Mike Griffin had his farewell ceremony Friday at NASA headquarters, there has still been no formal word on who will succeed him.
In an article that will appear in next week’s Space News and posted online last night [temporary link], Gration is still seen as the likely nominee. The article does note that Sen. Bill Nelson’s comments critical of Gration may have created a “potential roadblock”, particularly since Nelson sits on the Senate committee that will hold hearings on the nomination. The article cites a statement from Nelson on Friday (not (yet) published on the senator’s web site) where he says he wants Griffin’s replacement to be someone like Griffin himself, who Griffin called a “good man” and a “good administrator”: “I am hopeful that the administration’s selection to replace him has similar experience and knowledge of the space program as Mike does.”
Also noted in the article: Charlie Bolden, the former astronaut who got attention (and Nelson’s endorsement) last week as a potential candidate for the job, said he still hasn’t been contacted by anyone on the Obama transition team about the job—which seems to suggest that, at this late stage, he’s not a likely candidate for the job.
One other bit of trivia: Gration was among the guests at a “small dinner” with the president-elect in Washington last week to talk primarily about foreign policy issues.