Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center on Thursday. She was joined by U.S. Representative Brian Babin, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Johnson Center Director Mark Geyer.
Here’s what happened.
She visited with astronauts on the International Space Station
Ms. Trump spoke with the crew aboard the International Space Station from the Christopher C. Kraft Mission Control Center. She talked with the astronauts about the important science being conducted on station and the tactics that they use to share their mission with students across the globe.
She learned more about the Orion spacecraft
Ms. Trump received a briefing on the Orion spacecraft that is preparing to launch humans further into space than ever before. As home of the program, Johnson is playing an integral role in the development and testing of the launch abort system that will make Orion the safest human spacecraft ever built.
She encouraged high school students to pursue STEM fields
Ms. Trump met with the FIRST Robotics Team from the Clear Creek Independent School District to encourage them to continue with their passion for STEM. The team, which is mentored by the robotics department at Johnson, won the FIRST Robotics world championship in 2015.
She met the R5 Robot known as Valkyrie
Valkyrie, a name taken from Norse mythology, is designed to be a robust, rugged, entirely electric humanoid robot capable of operating in degraded or damaged human-engineered environments. Robotics could prove key during future missions to planetary bodies in the solar system.
She chatted with NASA interns about the future of space exploration
Ms. Trump sat down with a group of 50 NASA interns to answer their questions about the importance of STEM education and the future of the agency. She stressed the importance of developing skillsets to sustain future space missions and the American workforce as we enter a new age of space exploration.
What This All Means
Ms. Trump’s visit showed that the administration has a strong interest in STEM fields and is interested in inspiring students for a renewed era of space exploration.
Johnson Space Center