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NASA’s Newly Appointed Director Takes Oath on Carl Sagan’s Book Instead of the Bible

Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, the first female director of Goddard Space Flight Center, follows the tradition of political statement-making by taking her oath on Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.”

NASA New Director

If you take a closer look at the photo that comes with NASA’s announcement of their new director for the Goddard Space Flight Center, you’ll notice something rather intriguing and delightful.

Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, the first female to lead the Maryland space center, opted not to take her oath on a conventional holy book such as the Bible, but instead on a copy of Carl Sagan’s 1994 book, “Pale Blue Dot.”

Keith Cowing, the founder of NASA Watch, noticed the unique choice of oath-taking literature after Dr. Lystrup’s swearing-in ceremony last Friday.

“Normally I ignore these faked photos, Cowing said. “But this snapshot has drawn some strange comments from onlookers.”

While Dr. Lystrup’s decision to use Sagan’s book for her oath may seem “unusual,” it is perfectly legal in the United States due to the separation of church and state.

In fact, there is a long-standing tradition of political figures using books other than the Bible to make a statement during their swearing-in ceremonies, including works by Dr. Seuss, Superman comics, and various non-Christian religious texts.

This, however, appears to be the first instance of someone being sworn in on a book by Carl Sagan.

We wholeheartedly agree with Cowing’s admiration for Dr. Lystrup’s choice of literature. It is interesting to note that NASA chose not to mention this detail in its official blog post.

Cowing, a former NASA employee himself, humorously remarked, “Why do I have this compelling impulse to submit my resume to Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland? It’s safe to assume that anybody who does this is an awesome boss.”

What do you think?

Written by Alex Bruno

Alex is a writer with a passion for space exploration and a penchant for satirical commentary. He has written extensively on the latest discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as the ongoing efforts to explore our solar system and beyond. In addition to his space-related work, Alex is also known for his satirical writing, which often takes a humorous and irreverent look at contemporary issues and events. His unique blend of science and humor has earned him a dedicated following and numerous accolades. When he's not writing, Alex can often be found stargazing with his telescope or honing his comedic skills at local open mic nights.

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