Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has initiated efforts to advance the addition of commercial space industry advocates to President-elect Donald Trump’s NASA transition team, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Andy Pasztor writes Charles Miller, former NASA official who supported commercial space initiatives, was named to the agency landing team Tuesday.
Other expected appointees to the NASA transition team that appear to reflect Thiel’s influence include Alan Stern, chairman of the trade group Commercial Spaceflight Federation; and Alan Lindenmoyer, a former chief of the agency’s commercial space taxi program, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Sources told the publication that Thiel argued about the lack of industry advocates in the initial NASA transition team.
Thiel pushed for the inclusion of commercial space proponents to the NASA landing team after he received similar complaints from SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and founder of space company Blue Origin, according to a report by Tim Fernholz for Quartz.
Thiel is critical of NASA’s relationship with conventional aerospace contractors and served as an early investor in Musk’s SpaceX through his venture capital firm Founders Fund, the report added.