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Woman loses NASA internship after vulgar tweet to Nat’l Space Council member

/ 12:42 PM August 24, 2018

NASA logo. File photo

One woman’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) internship ended before it even started after posting a profanity-laden tweet to Homer Hickam recently.

For the unknowing, the 75-year-old Homer Hickam is a Vietnam war veteran and an American author whose book, “Rocket Boys” (1998), was the basis for the critically acclaimed biographical drama film “October Sky,” which starred Chris Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal and Laura Dern in 1999.

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Hickam embarked on his NASA career in the 1980s as an aerospace engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, training the first Japanese astronaut and first African-American woman to fly to space via the Spacelab-J mission.

The woman, a certain Naomi (@NaomiH_official), took to Twitter last Aug. 21 to tell her followers that she got accepted for a NASA internship. The overwhelmed and overjoyed netizen wrote, ” EVERYONE SHUT THE F*CK UP I GOT ACCEPTED FOR A NASA INTERNSHIP.”

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Hickman, who saw her tweet, replied to it and wrote, “Language.”

The netizen, however, wrote back to him with a vulgar reply, saying, “Suck my d*ck and b*lls I’m working at NASA.”

“And I am on the National Space Council that oversees NASA,” wrote Hickman back.

The tweets have since been deleted, while the netizen put her Twitter account on private following the backlash—but not until Twitter users have taken screenshots of the exchange.

A certain Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF), who shared the screenshot last Aug. 23, wrote: “Imagine getting accepted to be a NASA intern and instantly losing your job for telling National Space Council member and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam to ‘suck my d*ck and b*lls’ — that’s exactly what happened here.”

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It’s known that the netizen lost her internship at NASA following the exchange with Hickam, which precipitated a discussion on Twitter.

Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith), critic at large for the National Review, took to his Twitter last Aug. 22 and gave his opinion. “TBH (to be honest) Naomi from NASA should have been fired not for language but for not knowing who Homer Hickam is,” Smith wrote.

Meanwhile, a certain Mo (@moverick) shared on Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 23, that Hickam deleted his Twitter account after being harassed by Twitter bullies.

“The Twitter bullies have mobbed and harassed Homer Hickam @HomerHickam into deleting his Twitter account,” wrote Mo. “What a generation. What a generation.”

True enough, Hickam’s Twitter handle (@HomerHickam) no longer exists on the social media site.

However, a screenshot of Hickam’s statement regarding the issue was shared by one netizen (@microdile) last Aug. 22 after being disappointed over the backlash against Hickam.

“Wasn’t going to say anything about this but after reading this statement by Homer Hickam to the furry who had gotten and subsequently lost a job at NASA, I think it’s a perfect illustration of how rash assumptions can make you look like a fool,” wrote the netizen.

“Never assume, never stereotype.”

In Hickam’s statement, he wrote that he wasn’t offended when the netizen used the “F” word but thought it apt to warn her as her language might get her in trouble with NASA.

“It occurred to me that this young person might get in trouble if NASA saw it so I tweeted her one word: ‘Language’ and intended to leave it at that,” Hickam wrote in his statement. ”

Hickam also said that he had nothing to do with her losing her NASA internship. “I do not hire and fire at the agency or have any say on employment whatsoever,” Hickam further wrote. “As it turned out, it was due to the NASA hashtag her friends used that called the agency’s attention to it long after my comments were gone.”

Hickam, too, shared that the netizen had reached out to him with an apology, which he accepted.  Despite all this, Hickam took the high road and shared that he was doing all he could so she could get another internship at NASA.

“She deserves a position in the aerospace industry and I’m doing all I can to secure her one that will be better than she lost,” wrote Hickam. “I have also talked to the folks that had to do with her internship and made absolutely certain that there will be no black mark on her record.”  /ra

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TOPICS: aerospace engineer, Homer Hickam, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Space Council, Vietnam war
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