• 'We're ready to do more,' new NASA administrator says after 1st KSC visit

    By: Jason Kelly , Ken Tyndall

    Updated:

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The new administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Tuesday that the agency is prepared to do more than it has ever done before.

    Jim Bridenstine ended a two-day tour of the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday evening, his first official visit since being named NASA administrator in April.

    "Because of the capabilities, we have more access to space than ever before, and reusability of rockets is a big piece of that," he said. "NASA, of course, has a lot of projects on the table right now. In fact, probably more than even since the Apollo era."

    Read: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 reusable rocket from Cape Canaveral

    Last week, NASA named the nine astronauts who will be the first to launch from U.S. soil since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

    "We're going to get uncrewed test flights later this year, test flights with (a) crew on them next year," said Bob Cabana, KSC's director. "That's going to be amazing."

    In addition to partnering with private companies, such as SpaceX, NASA plans to continue its exploration of deep space, to return to the moon and to travel to Mars.

    Read: Astronauts selected to crew first flight tests bring 'new era in American spaceflight'

    "I think the headline is NASA is back, and we're ready to do more," Bridenstine said.

    SpaceX successfully launched a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force station.

    The United Launch Alliance is scheduled to launch a Delta IV Heavy rocket early Saturday from CCAFS.

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