WATCH: Dem Physicist Jessica Watkins to Become First Black Woman to Walk on Space Station
After learning of her arrival at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this weekend, Jessica Watkins was treated to a surprise party including 4,000 people.
Watkins and two other NASA astronauts, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, are flying to the International Space Station aboard the CST-100 Starliner capsule.
Her commanding officer, Gene Kranz, told reporters that the audience “gathered” to say goodbye to Jessica.
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“We’re having a short meeting for the last time. This is my last trip,” Watkins said. “It’s a great way to go out.”
Kranz and colleague Bill Gerstenmaier, deputy associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, announced Watkins’ dual-first for a woman and first black woman.
Thank you @cstarmod: mission team & ms. Watkins for your all-out effort. You are phenomenal! Our friends and family thank you & rejoice in you. pic.twitter.com/YdLn8x5flD — NASA (@NASA) July 29, 2018
President Trump called Watkins via satellite Sunday evening to congratulate her.
“This has really been a dream of mine for many, many years,” Watkins said. “I’m sure I will find some cool memories and stories down there.”
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