Obama "Proud" of Orion EFT-1, Praises Chief Engineer Julie Kramer White

Obama "Proud" of Orion EFT-1, Praises Chief Engineer Julie Kramer White

In a talk to senior government leaders today, President Obama praised the work of Orion chief engineer Julie Kramer White and joked that he might hitch a ride to Mars himself one day.  He also said he was “proud” to see the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) succeed in its mission last week.

Obama gave three examples of outstanding work by government employees:  a State Department employee helping with the Ebola outbreak in Africa, a Transportation Department employee involved in getting Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles safely onto a ship, and Kramer.

“Although everybody here is doing remarkable work, let’s face it, usually what we do isn’t rocket science — unless it is.  (Laughter.)  So Julie Kramer White is helping America launch a new era of space exploration.  Julie is NASA’s chief engineer for Orion, the new spacecraft that could carry humans farther into space than we’ve ever seen before.  (Applause.)  I’m sure you were all as proud as I was to see Orion’s first successful flight test last Friday.  America was already the first nation to land a rover on Mars; when an American is the first human to set foot there, we’ll have Julie and her team to thank.  And at that point, I’ll be out of the presidency and I might hitch a ride.  (Laughter.)  So thank you, Julie, for your great work.  (Applause.)”

The President himself had not publicly commented on the EFT-1 mission until now, although his science adviser, John Holdren, released a short statement the day it flew.

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