On Friday, NASA astronauts made history, and so did President Donald J. Trump, according to the White House’s online newsletter “1600 Daily.”
From the White House:
Far above our atmosphere, Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir stepped outside the International Space Station on Friday—the first-ever all-female spacewalk.
President Donald J. Trump called them from the White House during their historic mission, marking the first time since 1969 that an American President has spoken to our astronauts while they were outside their spaceship.
“I just want to congratulate you both. You’re very brave, brilliant women, and you represent this country so well,” the President said. “Our country is very proud of you.”
During the call, the astronauts praised all the female pioneers who came before them and made this incredible moment possible. “There has 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,” Dr. Meir said.
“We hope that we can provide an inspiration to everybody [who] has a big dream and that is willing to work hard to make that dream come true,” she added. “Something that all of us that have made our way up here have done all throughout our lives. And I can tell you, the hard work certainly did pay off.”
Space.com reports on the all-woman spacewalk:
One giant leap for womankind! Two NASA astronauts made space history today (Oct. 18) as they completed the first-ever spacewalk by an all-woman team.
The historic extravehicular activity (EVA) began at 7:38 EDT (1138 GMT), which was ahead of schedule as the spacewalk was slated to begin at 7:50 EDT (1150 GMT). The spacewalk, which officially began once both astronauts switched to battery power in their spacesuits, was guided by veteran NASA astronaut and capsule communicator (CAPCOM) Stephanie Wilson on the ground and fellow astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan located on the International Space Station.
Today marks Koch’s fourth spacewalk and Meir’s first spacewalk. Koch led the EVA and can be identified by the red stripes on her spacesuit and life support backpack. Meir arrived at the space station in September, and both Koch and Meir joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013. Their astronaut class, nicknamed the “Eight Balls,” had the highest percentage of women of any group of astronaut candidates to date.
Watch the historic call in the video below: