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Senate confirms Pam Melroy for No. 2 position at NASA

Pam Melroy, a Bishop Kearney graduate, now Deputy Administrator at NASA.

A former NASA astronaut with a Rochester connection has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be deputy administrator for NASA.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Pam Melroy’s nomination by President Joe Biden. The 59-year-old Melroy was born in Palo Alto, California and graduated from Bishop Kearney High School in 1979.

NASA released statements from Melroy on Thursday as well as Administrator Bill Nelson after the confirmation.

“It’s an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as NASA Deputy Administrator, and I am humbled by President Biden and Vice President Harris’ confidence in me,” Melroy said. “I look forward to returning to the NASA family and working with Administrator Nelson to ensure the United States continues to lead in space and beyond – exploring the wonders of the universe, expanding the Earth science research critical to combatting climate change, unlocking scientific discoveries that will change the world as we know it, and inspiring the next generation of discoverers and dreamers.”

“Pam is a pioneer and veteran of NASA, and will be an outstanding leader as we venture farther out to the stars,” said Nelson. “We certainly are lucky to have her on board, and I look forward to leading NASA with her as a team.”

According to her NASA bio, after serving more than two decades in the Air Force and as a NASA astronaut, Melroy took on a number of leadership roles, including at Lockheed Martin, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Last year, it was announced that Melroy would be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Because of the pandemic, that ceremony was delayed, and it has now been scheduled for this coming November.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.