SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The first Native American woman in space made a special appearance in a congressional hearing Tuesday. “It is definitely an honor to represent Native Americans on the International Space Station, and I hope that we can reach out to the younger generation and inspire children that would like to be engineers or scientists,” said Nicole Mann.

She called into the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Tuesday from the International Space Station. A member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in California, Mann arrived on the International Space Station on October 6.

Mann conducted a spacewalk last Thursday to install a component for a solar array. During Tuesday’s hearing, Mann discussed why it’s important to promote to STEM study, especially in minority communities.

“The harsh reality is, though, that we live in a world where there are barriers, as you mentioned, that inequality does stifle success, and in order to continue breaking down those barriers, we need to communicate,” Mann said.

She is expected to complete her 150-day space mission sometime next month.