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President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer who just returned to Earth after lengthy stays aboard the International Space Station.

“I want to congratulate Peggy and Jack for their incredible accomplishments. They make us all very proud,” said President Trump.  “Exploration has always been at the core of who we are as Americans, and their brave contributions to human space flight have continued that great tradition.”

In April, the President made a call to the International Space Station congratulating Commander Whitson for breaking the record for cumulative time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut.  She is the only female astronaut to command the International Space Station twice, and holds the women’s record for longest time in orbit during a single spaceflight.

Yesterday, the President specifically recognized Commander Whitson for spending 665 total days in space, a new record for American astronauts.

“Peggy is an inspiration to us all,” said President Trump, “especially to young women interested in or currently pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Since the beginning of his Administration, President Trump has taken steps to refocus NASA on its core mission of space exploration by signing the NASA Transition Authorization Act, the INSPIRE Women Act, and an Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council.  The President is supportive of the budding commercial space flight industry, and encourages competition and innovation in that area.