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‘I see you:' How NASA astronauts are responding to the death of George Floyd

‘Let’s think:’ Astronauts Victor Glover open to dialogue

NASA astronauts Victor Glover, left, and Michael Hopkins, right, in front of a mock up of the SpaceX Crew Dragon on Aug. 3, 2018 at NASA's Johnson Space Center. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)
NASA astronauts Victor Glover, left, and Michael Hopkins, right, in front of a mock up of the SpaceX Crew Dragon on Aug. 3, 2018 at NASA's Johnson Space Center. (Photo: Emilee Speck/WKMG)

Astronauts are some of the most driven, level-headed people on Earth but even they aren’t immune to the current events sparking protests around the world in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minneapolis police custody, and Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed in a Louisville police officer-involved shooting.

While there aren’t enough minority astronauts at the NASA Astronaut Office -- the number of current African-American astronauts can almost be counted on one hand -- that is certainly changing for the better.

NASA astronauts have an amazing platform to inspire others about space exploration but also to help be a voice for others.

On Friday, what would have marked Taylor’s 27th birthday, NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps shared a message on Twitter in her memory. Epps has been an astronaut since 2009.

NASA astronauts Victor Glover, is among the next four astronauts who will launch on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, as soon as August 30. He also happens to be one of the few active black astronauts in the NASA Astronaut Corps.

On Friday, following more than a week of protests and mourning for Floyd’s killing Glover offered some wise words and shared how he, his family and his coworkers are talking about race and civil rights.

“My heart is low, my head is level, and my faith is high. So much to process, if you’re struggling, that’s OK,” Glover said in a tweet. “I see you, I am you. Let’s dialogue. Let’s think. Let’s Work. What can I share that’s soul-stirring, informing, or encouraging you right now?”

The busy astronaut took time to engage with people who had questions or answers about what they can do to help the current situation.

He offered some advice for people who might be feeling frustrated or hurt.

Here’s Glover’s three-step plan:

Step 1. Get off your computer, check on someone (trust me you need this)!

Step 2. Exercise, meditate, or pray (maybe all 3)

Step 3. When you can, reply with your words, articles, data, songs, or other media that is worth sharing and I will share.

Sounds like a pretty good plan. You can read Glover’s full remarks starting with the Twitter thread below.

As for the change that needs to happen, Glover said if people work together and unify a movement it can happen.

“We don’t have to agree on every detail, but we need to agree on an end state,” he tweeted.

Glover said employees at NASA hosted “a maxed out virtual town-hall on current events and justice. It’s so enlightening and encouraging. THANK YOU to those that made it happen, to those that were vulnerable, and to the supervisors for supporting your workforce.”

Glover said he is inspired by the honest and civil conversations happening.


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