First Native American woman in space awed by Mother Earth
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The first Native American woman in space said Wednesday she is overwhelmed by the beauty and delicacy of Mother Earth, and is channeling “positive energy” as her five-month mission gets underway.
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann said from the International Space Station that she’s received lots of prayers and blessings from her family and tribal community. She is a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California.
Mann showed off the dream catcher she took up with her, a childhood gift from her mother that she’s always held dear. The small traditional webbed hoop with feathers is used to offer protection, and she said it’s given her strength during challenging times. Years before joining NASA in 2013, she flew combat in Iraq for the Marines.
“It’s the strength to know that I have the support of my family and community back home and that when things are difficult or things are getting hard or I’m getting burned-out or frustrated, that strength is something that I will draw on to continue toward a successful mission,” Mann told The Associated Press, which gathered questions from members and tribal news outlets across the country.
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