Washington April 20, 2017: US President Donald Trump will make a special Earth-to-space call from the Oval Office to personally congratulate NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for her record-breaking stay aboard the International Space Station on April 24, NASA has said.
Trump will be joined by daughter Ivanka Trump and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins for the 20-minute call which will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency’s website and Facebook page at 10 a.m. EDT.
Commander of the station’s Expedition 51 crew, Whitson will officially set the US record Monday for most cumulative days in space, surpassing NASA astronaut Jeff Williams’ record of 534 days.
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Additionally, she is the first woman to command the space station twice, and holds the record for most spacewalks conducted by a female astronaut.
Whitson will be joined for President Trump’s call by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, who is scheduled to arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Thursday.
The call will be made available to schools, museums, and other organisations across the nation and globally, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday. (IANS)
US President Donald Trump met survivors and families of the victims that were killed in the Florida school shooting and suggested that teachers and staff members should be provided with arms to avert such massacres, the media reported.
Trump’s comment came during a White House “listening session” on Wednesday which was attended by families and students including six survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old man Nikolas Cruz armed with an assault rifle killed 17 people on February 14, reports CNN.
The event brought Trump face-to-face with students and parents who have demanded action on gun violence.
“If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” he said, stating that schools could arm up to 20 per cent of their teachers to stop “maniacs” who may try and attack them.
“This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun, and it would be, it’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone,” Trump said. “Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us’.”
Acknowledging that the idea was controversial, Trump said that his administration would give it serious study.
The President also called for more mental institutions and hospitals in addition to the idea of arming teachers.
Trump’s idea of arming teachers and school staff was met with support from many of the attendees, CNN reported.
Fred Abt, the father of Parkland shooting survivor Carson Abt, said he had discussed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that rather than waiting for first responders to arrive, it would be more efficient to have firearms locked on school campuses.
“One possible solution, which may not be very popular, would be to have people in the school, teachers, administrators who have volunteered to have a firearm safely locked in the classroom who are given training throughout the year,” he said.
“There are plenty of teachers who are already licensed to carry firearms, have them raise their hands to volunteer for the training, and when something like this starts, the first responders are already on campus.
Andrew Pollack, a father of one of the 17 victims who died in the Florida shooting, said he was speaking because his daughter couldn’t.
“We as a country failed our children…
This shouldn’t happen.”
The President, flanked by the students, went around the room and shook hands before commencing the session.