New York — Nasa’s administrator is a strong defender of US President Donald Trump’s proposals for space — including an armed force and a permanent presence on the moon — and says he wants Americans to realise how much their wellbeing depends on what happens far above Earth. "Every banking transaction requires a GPS signal for timing. You lose the GPS signal and guess what you lose? You lose banking. If you look at what space is, it’s not that much different than the ocean," says Bridenstine, who made 333 aircraft-carrier landings as a Navy pilot. "It’s an international domain that has commerce that needs to be protected." Bridenstine was in his third term representing a congressional district in Oklahoma when Trump nominated him to lead the $21bn space agency. He was confirmed in the spring despite criticism over his lack of scientific or engineering experience and his previous statements questioning climate-change science — though he said in hearings that human activity was the chi...

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