He says that before the space agency can send humans to Mars, it has to get them back to the moon.
"Each of these things adds up to say that the probability of finding life on a world that's not our own is going up," says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Since then, he has had a lot to do to get ready for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, but he's making sure the agency continues to look forward for its next mission: a crewed mission to Mars.
But before humans can go to Mars, they have to get back to the moon.
Bridenstine sat down with NPR at NASA headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., to talk about the timeline for getting humans to Mars and why going back to the moon is so critical to a new era of space exploration.
What do you make of the fact that most Americans say they don't really care about getting back to the moon or to Mars?