WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Former Democratic Florida Senator Bill Nelson sits down with Gray TV's Alana Austin in his first interview since leaving office to discuss space exploration and thousands of pages of historical documents recently sent to the University of Florida.
Nelson recently sent his space collection, flight suit and 800 boxes worth of other records to the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. The records are from 46 years in office. Nelson joked compiling all this in recent weeks has been "a Herculean task."
He says the records will "tell about a country boy that grew up in central Florida...who always wanted to be in public service."
Nelson also offered criticism of the President's recently-proposed Space Force, calling the potential sixth branch of the military an unnecessary bureaucracy.
Meantime, the former astronaut said that he is excited for the future of space exploration and civilian and commercial innovation.
"You're starting to see, eventually in our lifetimes, we'll see companies go out and try to explore, such as mining asteroids. There are all kinds of exciting new commercial ventures that we're going to see in space."
Nelson was defeated by then-Republican Governor Rick Scott in the highly-competitive 2018 U.S. Senate race. More from this exclusive one-on-one interview will be shared soon.