For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Just an hour after the dramatic and safe touchdown of the Perseverance Mars Rover on Feb. 18 President Biden called acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to offer his congratulates and support for the mission team and the agency.
President Biden thus continues to show very strong visible public support for NASA in the opening days of his new Administration demonstrated by the call.
The surprise call by Biden to acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk took place while Jurczyk was being interviewed by the media and caught on camera in real time by the major TV Networks.
“Hey Steve, congratulations man,” said Biden in the call from the Oval Office in Washington, D.C.
“I’m so proud of you guys, and tell your folks down there [in California] I watched it with bated breath, like millions of other people around the world,” Biden said to acting administrator Steve Jurczyk who was with the team at JPL in Pasadena, Ca.
“There ain’t nothing we cant do with folks like you. IN look forward to coming down there some time. Thanks pal. Keep it going. Proud of you”
The White House and NASA have now released a video of the call from both ends of the phone line – and posted it on the NASA Home Page and White House YouTube Channel over the weekend on Sat. Feb 20:
Video Caption: President Biden Congratulates NASA on the Perseverance Mars Rover Touchdown. President Joe Biden called acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk on Feb. 18, 2021, just after the Perseverance rover touched down on Mars to congratulate the agency’s team on the successful landing. Learn more about the mission at: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/. Video Credit: The White House
On Thursday, I joined the world and watched in awe as the Perseverance Rover touched down on the surface of Mars. It was a remarkable feat — one made possible by the hard work and ingenuity of the team at @NASA.
I called to congratulate them on their historic landing. pic.twitter.com/0Qjs2MDk4J
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2021
President Biden also quickly congratulated NASA and JPL teams post landing via tweet:
“Congratulations to NASA and everyone whose hard work made Perseverance’s historic landing possible. Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility,” tweeted President Biden along with a photo of him watching the landing live.
Congratulations to NASA and everyone whose hard work made Perseverance’s historic landing possible. Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. pic.twitter.com/NzSxW6nw4k
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 18, 2021
“His first words were ‘Congratulations, man,’ and I knew it was him,” Jurczyk said to media about the surprise call from President Biden.
“He talked about how proud he was of what we had accomplished.”
“He was as psyched as I am,” Jurczyk exclaimed.
The goal of Perseverance is to search for signs of ancient life and explore the surface of Mars and its geology and climate, It counts as first leg of a truly ground breaking astrobiology mission aimed at collecting pristine soil and regolith samples that will be returned to Earth a decade from now in search of tell-tale signs of past life.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Jill Biden also tweeted congratulations in addition to a number of members of Congress.
Congrats to @NASA and all of their partners on their successful mission. Today's historic landing embodies our nation’s spirit of perseverance—building on past accomplishments and paving the way for future missions.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) February 18, 2021
The call comes on the heel of the Biden Administration expressing strong support for NASA’s Artemis moon landing program
The Biden White House backed NASA’s Project Artemis goal of landing humans on the Moon in a recent briefing by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in the most detailed comments about the new Administrations strategy regarding space exploration – although few details or timelines were specified.
"Through the #Artemis program, the United States government will work with industry and international partners to send astronauts to the surface of the Moon.”
— NASA’s Artemis Program (@NASAArtemis) February 4, 2021
Psakis confirmation of President Biden’s support for Project comes on the heels of the request of the new incoming Biden White House for a 3.9 Billion Year Old NASA Apollo Moon Rock to be placed on display in the Oval Office as of Inauguration Day Jan. 20, 2021 “and confirms the powerful support of President Biden “for America’s current Moon to Mars exploration approach” – namely Project Artemis.
Watch our live and complete ‘Stay Curious’ with live Perseverance landing commentary today Feb 18, 2021 as well as earlier programs on Mars Mania on Feb 12 and Dec 14 and Dec. 30 , 2020 shows on many space topics including Mars Perseverance, Artemis and human spaceflight.
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, Artemis and NASA missions, SpaceX, Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2, ISS, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken has created hundreds of widely published Mars rover mosaics and lectures also about NASA’s Mars rovers
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