Science & Tech
Mike Pence has grabbed at a critical piece of Nasa space hardware with the words DO NOT TOUCH written in huge letters on it.
The vice president and Donald Trump's right hand man came across Nasa's Orion hardware – which will be used in the future to send astronauts into deep space – during a tour of the Kennedy Space Center. And he was apparently so taken with the craft that he started caressing it, despite a huge sign instructing him not to do so.
The spacecraft is being prepared for flight in 2019 atop NASA's as-yet-unflown megarocket the SLS or Space Launch System.
Mike Pence @VP gets a tour of the NASA Orion clean room & touches critical space flight hardware even though the si… https://t.co/WAzW4uLOaw— Kal Penn (@Kal Penn) 1499401090
But for the moment, it is sitting in a clean room – an area intended to ensure that it picks up no dirt and that no damage is done to it before it sets off into space. Any problems caused to the craft at this point could delay some of Nasa's most important missions.
It was there that Mr Pence chose to caress the craft, despite clear instructions not to do so.
"Critical Space Flight Hardware," the very visible and clear note attached to the craft said.
Do not touch
It may be that Mr Pence thought that the quotes that were around the instruction not to touch it meant they were somehow ironic, that the White House has simply decided to ignore things that are right in front of them or that he chose to flout the instruction.
During his visit, Pence called the centre a "gateway to the stars" and said he was looking forward to seeing what Nasa could do.
"Here from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars," he added, drawing cheers and applause from the hundreds of space center workers, astronauts and dignitaries.
"Here from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon and we will put American boots on the face of M… https://t.co/BBSmu9f8PX— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASA's Kennedy Space Center) 1499379661
Pences actions have been mercilessly mocked on Twitter, with some people even accusing him of not being able to read.
When the president of the USA communicates in tweets you hope the VP is better. However turns out Mike Pence can't… https://t.co/AuZZ1UI3Yy— Lost Droids (@Lost Droids) 1499400471
"MI--MIKE...MICHAEL DAMNIT!! It says DO NOT TOUCH" ".....I can't read. Ma' won't let me." -Mike Pence https://t.co/jewCPYFbSH— k a r l e e (@k a r l e e) 1499392004
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