- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2019

President Trump on Friday conducted a live call with a pair of NASA astronauts conducting the first all-woman spacewalk, underscoring his push to reinvigorate the U.S. space program and send Americans to Mars.

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir credited astronauts who’ve come before them.

“There’s been a long line of female scientists, explorers, engineers and astronauts, and we have followed in their footsteps to get us where we are today,” Ms. Meir told Mr. Trump from outside the International Space Station.
Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, said it is the first time since 1969 that a U.S. president has spoken to an astronaut operating outside of the spacecraft.
The president marveled at their courage.

“Big danger, it’s not an easy thing to do,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot people would take a pass on that one.”

Mr. Trump frequently touts his push to rejuvenate NASA and look to new worlds.
“We’re going to the moon and then we’re going to Mars,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re launching from the moon.”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said his agency is working on a special habitat to get astronauts accustomed to living on the final frontier.

“We need to learn how to live and work on another world for long periods of time,” he said. “And then we go to Mars.”

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