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Nasa hires its first woman head, who takes an unusual oath of office.

NASA made history on Thursday by putting Dr. Makenzie Lystrup in charge of the Goddard Space Flight Center. She is the first woman to hold this position. She didn’t swear on the Bible, but on Carl Sagan’s book Pale Blue Dot from 1994.

Officers all over the US have used different books to put their hands on their hearts and take oaths. Some swore on the US Constitution, while others swore on the Holy Quran. This was the first time someone took office by swearing on a book by Carl Sagan.

Carl Sagan, a scientist, wrote the book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space in 1994. The famous Pale Blue Dot photo of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe in 1990 from about six billion kilometers away gave him the idea for the name of the book.

Makenzie Lystrup said, “I’m humbled and honored to lead such a great, diverse, and well-known team from all over the world.”

The new head of Nasa also said, “To build on our legacy, I’m very focused on growing the next generation of innovators and making sure our team has the resources and tools to advance technologies and make new discoveries that help the space economy and all of us.”

One of NASA’s biggest field centers is the Goddard Space Flight Center. Maryland is where it is. Nasa says that the center is in charge of managing and carrying out a $4bn portfolio. The centre is also home to the most engineers, technologists, and scientists who work on Earth and Space studies.

Bill Nelson, who is in charge of NASA, said, “Makenzie is a natural leader. She brings to Goddard a scientist’s drive to find new things and a lot of industry experience and knowledge.”

“As center director, she will lead a team of scientists, engineers, and technologists who are known around the world for their work on Earth and space science,” he said.