President Donald Trump is known as NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir throughout their historic first all-female spacewalk Friday.
The astronauts have been just under five hours into their spacewalk to replace a battery charger on the International Space Station once they took the call from the White House.
Trump mentioned that “Congratulations, Christina and Jessica, on this historic event. I need to congratulate you both; you’re a very brave, intelligent woman and represent the United States so well. We’re proud of you, and Our county is very proud of you.”
The president additionally set the historic spacewalk within the context of America’s ambitious plans for future space exploration. “It is the first step because we’re going to the moon, and then we’re going to Mars.”
NASA’s Artemis program intends to land American astronauts, including the first woman, on the moon by 2024 also set up a sustainable human presence on Earth’s natural satellite.
Trump was flanked by Vice President Pence, who is chairman of the National Space Council, his daughter, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, and White House adviser Ivanka Trump.
The spacewalk, which starts early Friday, is Meir’s first and Koch’s fourth. Meir will become the 228th person in the world to conduct a spacewalk and the 15th woman.
Initial mission capability for 2024 includes landing two astronauts on the south pole of the moons. Astronauts are going to stay and work out of the lander for six and a half days, based on NASA.
Earlier within the call, Trump mistakenly described the spacewalk “as the first time for a woman outside the space station.”