President Donald Trump referred to as NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir throughout their historic first all-female spacewalk Friday.
The astronauts have been slightly below 5 hours into their spacewalk to interchange a battery charger on the Worldwide House Station after they took the decision from the White Home.
“Congratulations Christina and Jessica on this historic occasion,” Trump stated. “I simply need to congratulate you each, you’re very courageous, clever girls and also you characterize this nation so properly. Our county could be very pleased with you, and we’re actually pleased with you.”
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The president additionally set the historic spacewalk throughout the context of America’s formidable plans for future area exploration. “This can be a first step as a result of we’re going to the moon after which we’re going to Mars.”
NASA’s Artemis program goals to land American astronauts, together with the primary lady, on the moon by 2024 and set up a sustainable human presence on Earth’s pure satellite tv for pc.
“That is actually simply us doing our jobs,” one of many astronauts responded. “On the identical time, we acknowledge that it’s a historic achievement and we do in fact need to give credit score to all people who got here earlier than us – there was an extended line of feminine scientists, explorers, engineers, and astronauts and we’ve adopted of their footsteps to get us the place we’re at the moment.”
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Trump was flanked by Vice President Pence, who’s chairman of the Nationwide House Council, his daughter and White Home adviser Ivanka Trump and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Earlier within the name, Trump mistakenly described the spacewalk “as the primary time for a girl outdoors the area station.”
The astronauts clarified the character of the historic spacewalk. “We don’t need to take an excessive amount of credit score, as a result of there have been many different feminine spacewalkers earlier than us, that is simply the primary time that there have been two girls outdoors on the identical time,” one stated.
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The spacewalk, which began early Friday, is Meir’s first and Koch’s fourth. When she ventured outdoors the orbiting area lab, Meir grew to become the 228th particular person on this planet to conduct a spacewalk and the 15th lady.
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Preliminary mission functionality for 2024 entails touchdown two astronauts on the moon’s south pole. Astronauts will stay and work out of the lander for six and half days, in keeping with NASA.
The Related Press contributed to this text. Comply with James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers