Past in mind, NASA chief Bill Nelson looks to future on visit to Johnson Space Center

Bill Nelson’s trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston this week evoked memories of his first visit to the home of U.S. human spaceflight more than 35 years ago.

Now a former senator and the current head of NASA, Nelson was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives when he first reported to Johnson in 1985. After several months of training, Nelson became the second congressional observer to fly into Earth orbit, lifting off as a payload specialist on the last space shuttle mission before the Challenger tragedy in January 1986.

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