The illicit contact with the Orion hardware occurred during the vice president’s tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday and was captured by a Reuters photographer.
And hours after his visit, Pence responded to the wave of social media posts with an explanation of why he touched it.
“Sorry @NASA… @MarcoRubio dared me to do it!” Pence jokingly tweeted on his official V.P. account.
Okay…so this isn’t exactly the first time this has happened. pic.twitter.com/6Y7b3UlJXe
— Vice President Pence (@VP) July 7, 2017
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 7, 2017
To which Senator Rubio (R-FL) reacted with a tweet of his own writing, “In fairness, I warned @VP that ‘you break it, you own it.’ ”
All in all, NASA clarified that there was no harm done.
“It was OK to touch the surface. Those are just day-to-day reminder signs. We were going to clean it anyway. It was an honor to host you!” the space agency tweeted.
It was OK to touch the surface. Those are just day-to-day reminder signs. We were going to clean it anyway. It was an honor to host you! https://t.co/gu8zxknsJv
— NASA (@NASA) July 7, 2017