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Pence makes 'most long distance call' to thank ISS astronauts

Washington, Sep 26 (IANS) US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday made his “most long distance call” when he spoke to NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Literally and figuratively we all look up to you,” said Pence while thanking Expedition 53 commander Randy Bresnik, and flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba for their courage and determination.

The station residents are currently gearing up for three spacewalks planned in October.

During his tour to Marshall Space Flight Centre, Pence saw the progress being made on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the world’s most powerful deep space rocket, that will send astronauts on missions around the Moon and ultimately to Mars, the US space agency said in a statement.

He also visited Marshall’s Payload Operations Integration Centre, where the agency manages all research aboard the ISS.

“Today, I met pioneers who are helping America travel into the unknown and expand our knowledge for the benefit of the nation,” Pence said.

“I’m inspired by the people at Marshall, and NASA as a whole, who are passionate and dedicated to space exploration. The massive hardware and innovative technologies we are building will propel us far beyond our home planet and allow America to lead in space again,” he added.

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