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Washington, D.C.—This morning, U.S. Senator Susan Collins talked with astronaut Jessica Meir, a Caribou, Maine, native who is currently working onboard the International Space Station on her first spaceflight. Senator Collins congratulated Dr. Meir on recently making history on the first all-women spacewalk and asked her about her experiences so far. Senator Collins last spoke with Dr. Meir in July by phone prior to her expedition into space.
“It was exciting to speak with Jessica in space today to congratulate her on her historic spacewalk. We also discussed her impressions of living in the space station and her ongoing research, including her work with Jackson Lab mice and her experiment growing mustard greens,” said Senator Collins. “Mainers are incredibly proud of Jessica’s extraordinary accomplishments. She has inspired so many girls and boys from our hometown of Caribou and across the state that they, too, can follow their dreams and be an astronaut or whatever they want to be.”
On September 25th, Dr. Meir became the first Maine woman to travel to space and has now completed nearly a third of her six-month mission. She is conducting experiments and supporting research to prepare astronauts for future missions to the Moon and Mars.
Last month, Dr. Meir participated in the first all-female spacewalk with fellow astronaut Christina Koch. The spacewalk lasted more than seven hours as the pair installed a new battery charge-discharge unit.
In October, Dr. Meir spoke via a live video with hundreds of Caribou students in grades 3-12 and answered questions. In June, Senators Collins and Angus King and Representative Jared Golden sent a letter to NASA in support of Eastern Aroostook RSU 39 and Caribou’s request to participate in this videoconference with Dr. Meir while she was in orbit.
In 2016, Senator Collins and Dr. Meir were two of the six inaugural inductees of the Caribou High School Alumni Hall of Fame.