A NASA astronaut has sent the first-ever message in American Sign Language from the earth’s orbit.

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson sent a video message from the International Space Station where she signs about the work being done on the station.

“I am truly grateful for this opportunity on behalf of the deaf community and the multitudes of students who will benefit from seeing their language spoken in space,” Caldwell Dyson said. “It is my hope that this video will help inspire our next generation of scientists and explorers.”

According to NASA’s website, Caldwell Dyson first became interested in ASL when she met a fellow athlete in high school who used it. She sharpened her skills and learned about the challenges deaf students face when she was in graduate school and tutored a chemistry student who was deaf.

Dyson said working with the student made a lasting impact on her.

The message adds another language to those that have already been represented on the ISS. According to NASA, languages spoken in 15 countries have been represented on the station.
Caldwell Dyson plans to do more videos messages in ASL.