NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a press conference with reporters on Friday that the first human being on Mars could be a woman. Bridenstine was talking to reporters about the first all-female spacewalk which, after months of delay, took place last week.
“We could very well see the first person on Mars be a woman. I think that could very well be a milestone,” Bridenstine said, according to Space.com.
The NASA chief added that whoever does end up traveling to Mars is probably too young to be in NASA’s current astronaut corps. Bridenstine said over the summer that a trip to Mars won’t happen until some time in the 2030s.
“If my 11-year-old daughter has her way, we’ll have a woman on Mars in the not-too-distant future,” he added.
At the same press conference, President Donald Trump applauded astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir after they completed the first ever all-female spacewalk.
“What you do is incredible … You’re very brave people. I don’t think I want to do it, I must tell you that. But you are amazing people.” Trump said, NPR reported. “This is truly historic.”
Meir thanked the president during the press conference, adding that she and Koch don’t want to take too much credit because other women have done space walks in the past.
“For us, this is really just us doing our jobs,” she said.