WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Committee, hosted a video call between members of Congress and NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann – the first Native American woman in space – from the International Space Station.
An enrolled member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Mann was selected by NASA in June 2013 and launched to the International Space Station as commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on October 5, 2022.
“Astronaut Mann is an inspiration to not just members of Congress, but all of the people we represent,” said Chairman Schatz. “Especially the young people, who see someone to emulate, someone to strive to be like, and someone who does their job with incredible joy and determination.”
“Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hosted a bicameral video link through the NASA Mission Control Center with the first Native American female astronaut, Nicole “Duke” Aunapu Mann, who is currently aboard the International Space Station as Commander of SpaceX Crew-5 mission,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “With our limited time with Col. Mann, we asked her about how to inspire young Native people to follow in her footsteps, what Congress can do to support them in pursuing such careers, and what advice she has for Native youth interested in STEM. I thank Col. Mann for taking time out of her important mission to meet with us and letting us share in her historic exploration into space.”