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NM Gov. Bill Richardson To Be Cleared of Federal Probe August 27, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in Bill Richardson, Obama, private sector.
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New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a prominent private space advocate and President Obama’s initial choice for Commerce Secretary, will be cleared of the federal probe that derailed his nomination to the Commerce Dept., according to an Associated Press report.

At the time of Richardson’s withdrawal from the commerce appointment in January, Obama said “I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration.”  Now that he’s finally cleared, Richardson is sure to be appointed somewhere in the near future.

His original Commerce appointment had a space tinge to it: Richardson’s flagship economic project in New Mexico has been Spaceport America.

Obama has voiced support for private space (“Amplify NASA’s reach” with commercial efforts and “unleash the genius of private enterprise to secure the United States’ leadership in space”), and with the Augustine commission‘s recent grim assessment of Constellation’s future, the development of private space could be taking a leading role in American space efforts soon—and Richardson will probably be at the forefront of it:

“Here’s what I want to be sure of … that the Obama administration is pro-commercial space … that the administration is pro-space, pro-government space, pro-commercial space.” -Bill Richardson, when asked about a potential role in the Obama administration last year

Keep a close eye on Richardson, as I’m confident Obama has space-related plans for him; and those plans could have a significant impact on the future of NASA.

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