Former NASA Official Says Many at Agency Deeply Oppose SpaceX
This beef goes back pretty far.
In a new tell-all memoir, the former second-in-command at NASA has aired a ton of the agency’s dirty laundry — including significant fights with Bill Nelson, the man who now helms it.
When she was NASA’s deputy administrator, ex-official Lori Garver told Politico that she not only dealt with vile sexism from coworkers, but also with what she calls “passive-aggressive” behavior from now-Administrator Nelson.
And at the heart of Garver and Nelson’s bad blood, she alleges, is a familiar Futurism character: the ever-controversial Elon Musk and his rocket company, SpaceX.
The former deputy administrator wrote that it was she who spearheaded NASA’s public-private partnership with SpaceX, known as the Commercial Crew Program — a move that she says drew much internal ire, including from Nelson.
While he was still a US senator, Garver wrote, Nelson “led the opposition” to Commercial Crew. She recounted a private meeting in which the then-senator “shouted at me to ‘get your boy Elon in line'” after Musk publicly claimed that he could help NASA.
According to Garver, Nelson hasn’t always been so fond of the billionaire and his private spaceflight company, though he now “recalls his record differently” and is “doing his best to wrap himself in the Commercial Crew flag.”
These claims, it should be noted, corroborate previous reporting suggesting that there are many inside NASA who despise SpaceX — and to their credit, Musk hasn’t made it easy with his erratic behavior and hubristic style.
On her end, Garver clearly is fan of the SpaceX CEO, and wrote that his “story is difficult to separate” from her own.
“I wouldn’t have managed to pull off much of a transformation at NASA,” she continued, “without him and SpaceX.”
READ MORE: ‘Get your boy Elon in line’: NASA tell-all recounts turmoil over private space race [Politico]
More on NASA/SpaceX: Astronaut Compares the SpaceX, NASA, and Russian Spacecrafts He’s Flown In