‘These are great days’

NASA head says a woman will walk on the moon — and potentially Mars

Astronaut Peggy Whitson of the U.S. speaks prior to a launch in Kazakhstan on November 17, 2016. (REUTERS/Dmitri Lovetsky)

The next person to land on the moon — and the first person to ever land on Mars — is likely to be a woman, according to NASA head Jim Bridenstine.

Appearing on radio show Science Friday, the NASA administrator was unequivocal in his response to a question about whether the space agency would include a women astronaut on their next trip to the moon. No woman, the interviewer noted, had ever landed on the moon.

“Absolutely,” replied Bridenstine.

“NASA is committed to making sure we have a broad and diverse set of talent and we’re looking forward to the first woman on the moon,” Bridenstine said. “These are great days.”

Bridenstine declined to make specific mention of any women astronauts, but insisted that women would play a big role in future NASA missions. On a potential journey to Mars, he said, a woman was “likely to be” the first person to touch down on the red planet’s surface.

Currently, women make up 34 percent of active NASA astronauts. At the end of the month, NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch are scheduled to perform the first ever all-women spacewalk.

Read the full story at CNN.

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