More Good Vibes for NASA from Biden & Harris

More Good Vibes for NASA from Biden & Harris

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris continued to shower NASA with good vibes this week.  Biden used the Mars program as an example of America’s can-do spirit while Harris chatted with NASA astronaut Victor Glover aboard the International Space Station and praised the renaming of NASA’s Headquarters after Mary Jackson, the first African American woman engineer at NASA.

Biden was in Houston yesterday to assess the damage caused by a severe winter storm that caused widespread power outages and disrupted water supplies for days and to visit a food bank and a COVID vaccination clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In remarks at the FEMA clinic late in the afternoon, Biden assured Texans that federal and state agencies were working together to help in relief efforts. Sounding his familiar theme of unity, he again used the landing of Mars Perseverance as an example of what can be achieved when Americans work as a team.  After talking about his strong desire to find a cure for cancer, hopefully during his presidency, he said the Mars mission shows what is possible.

Source: White House transcript.

Earlier in the day, NASA held a ceremony at its headquarters building in Washington, D.C. to formally rename it in honor of Mary W. Jackson, the first African American woman engineer to work at NASA, or, actually, its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). NASA announced its intent to rename the building in her honor last June.

Jackson joined NACA at what is now NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA in 1951 as a mathematician — one of the human computers highlighted in the book and movie Hidden Figures. She later trained to become an engineer and in 1958 was the first African American woman engineer at the agency. She specialized in the behavior of the boundary layer of air around airplanes. She retired from Langley in 1985 and passed away in 2005.  Her grandson and son-in-law were at the event yesterday and unveiled the new sign.

Bryan Jackson, grandson of Mary W. Jackson, left, and Raymond Lewis, Jackson’s son-in-law, right, unveil the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters sign during a ceremony officially naming the building, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.  Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Vice President Harris highlighted the event in a tweet.

As it turns out, two days earlier, Harris had a telephone conversation with Crew-1 astronaut Glover as part of the celebration of Black History month.  She and NASA only released that information today along with a video of the call intermixed with pre-recorded footage of Glover’s flight and scenes of Earth from the ISS.

She ends her remarks telling Glover he is “inspiring us and you are reminding us of what is possible when we dream big and when we think big.  So thank you.”

It is apparent that Biden and Harris think highly of NASA as a place of inspiration and achievement. The space community is eagerly awaiting the roll-out of the first Biden budget request to see how that translates into the dollars needed to make big dreams come true.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.