It’s not every day you’re treated to a phone call from the President of the United States, even more uncommon is being on the received end of that call while in outer space. In a tradition that’s been in place with nearly every shuttle launch President Obama reached out to the crew of the Discovery to congratulate them on a mission well done once they reached the International Space Station.
Joining the crew this time was NASA’s Robonaut 2 a humanoid robot capable of the dexterous movements designed to assist astronauts during space mission. According to the NASA site, “Robonauts will expand our ability for construction and discovery. Central to that effort is a capability we call dexterous manipulation, embodied by an ability to use one's hand to do work, and our challenge has been to build machines with dexterity that exceeds that of a suited astronaut.”
When the President was told that R2 was still in his box he joked, "C'mon, unpack the guy! He flew all that way, and you guys aren't unpacking him?"
The President also provided some words that struck a more serious tone saying, “you are setting such a great example with your dedication, courage, commitment to exploration. These are traits that built America, and you guys personify them."
Discovery will return from the ISS March 7 and land March 9 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco