While transiting in Houston on her way back to Taiwan following state visits to Paraguay and Belize, President Tsai Ing-wen visited the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on the morning of Sunday, August 19 local time (evening of August 19 Taipei time).
After arriving at the Johnson Space Center, President Tsai first proceeded to the Mission Control Center and received a briefing from Flight Director Royce Renfrew. The Mission Control Center is the heart of America's manned spaceflight programs, and the most important part of every US space mission since the Gemini IV mission of 1965, including the manned Apollo moon missions and all 135 space shuttle flights. The flight control team includes many experienced engineers, medical officers, and technicians who remain on duty in shifts around the clock to make sure that space station astronauts can safely and smoothly complete their missions.
Johnson Space Center Deputy Director Vanessa E. Wyche, Flight Director Royce Renfrew, and astronaut E. Michael Fincke accompanied President Tsai and her delegation on a tour of a flight control room to learn about the facilities. They then proceeded to a space station training facility and viewed replicas of the space station as well as the Space X, Starliner, and Soyuz delivery vehicles. The group also toured replicas of the Japanese, American, and Russian space stations before making one final stop at the Orion Spacecraft Mockup. President Tsai and Deputy Director Wyche then exchanged gifts and posed for photos.
Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu (陳菊), National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), and ROC Representative to the United States Stanley Kao (高碩泰) all accompanied the president on the tour.