Trump speaks with NASA astronauts on all-female spacewalk

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE on Friday spoke to two female astronauts participating in the first all-female spacewalk, cheering them as “very brave, brilliant women” and praising their work on a call at the White House.

“Station, this is President Donald Trump, do you hear me?” Trump said as he phoned NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir from the Roosevelt Room.


“I just want to congratulate you. What you do is incredible. You’re very brave people. I don’t think I want to do it, I must tell you that, but you are amazing people,” Trump told the astronauts. He noted the two astronauts were replacing an exterior part of the space station “at a very high altitude.”

Meir and Koch began the first all-female spacewalk outside of the International Space Station early Friday morning; it was expected to last as long as six hours.

Trump was joined by Vice President Pence, his daughter and adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpOvernight Energy: Study finds 'forever chemicals' in more locations | Trump officials approve Keystone XL pipeline right-of-way | Warren asks banks for climate plans Gore praises Greta Thunberg after meeting: 'Nobody speaks truth to power as she does' Ivanka Trump refuses to criticize Greta Thunberg: 'She's elevated awareness' MORE and NASA Administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineCongress greenlights NASA's crewed moon lander — sort of Boeing launches first Starliner test flight Doug Loverro's job is to restore American spaceflight to the ISS and the moon MORE as he made the call, which was broadcast from the White House.  

“For us, it’s just coming out and doing our job today,” Meir replied when asked by Trump to offer a message for young women who are interested in space exploration.  

“We hope that we can provide an inspiration to everybody – not only women – but to everybody that has a dream, that has a big dream, and that is willing to work hard to make that dream come true,” Meir said.

“You’re very brave, brilliant women, and represent the country very well,” Trump said, noting that “millions” were watching the women as he phoned them Friday.

“Thank you both very much, have a good time,” he said.

Ivanka Trump noted that the call marked the first time since 1969 that a president has spoken to astronauts outside a space ship.

The president went on to cheer his administration’s efforts in space exploration following the conclusion of the call, saying his goal was to send U.S. astronauts to Mars.

“This is a first step, because we’re going to the moon and then we’re going to Mars,” Trump said.

Bridenstine said the administration’s goal is to have the next American woman and man on the moon by 2024.

“We’re working hard to make that a reality,” Bridenstine said.

“That whole program was dead when I took it over, when we came into office,” Trump said. “It’s been totally reinvigorated I think to a level that it’s never been at.”

Trump mentioned his plans to launch a U.S. Space Force, noting that the administration was looking to space in an effort to bolster its military defenses.