NASA Intern: A woman may have lost a NASA internship following a profanity-laced back-and-forth with a user on Twitter. That user? Famed former NASA engineer and current space council adviser Homer Hickam, reported USA Today online.
The exchange, reportedly captured in screenshots that rocketed across social media, began when a user identified as Naomi H. (@NaomiH_official) made an announcement to the world: “Everyone shut the f— up,” she tweeted, Newsweek and Buzzfeed News report, citing images of since-removed tweets. “I got accepted for a NASA internship.” The online reported that after a Twitter user notes Naomi’s “language,” Naomi replies with a sexually vulgar tweet not at all suitable for publication. “I’m working at NASA,” Naomi concludes. The user Naomi told off is Homer Hickam, the former NASA engineer and inspiration of the 1999 film “October Sky,” based on his memoir. “And I am on the National Space Council that oversees NASA,” Hickam replies, referencing his appointment to the advisory group earlier this year. “Later, I learned she had lost her offer for an internship with NASA,” Hickam said Tuesday in a post on his blog, according to Newsweek. (The post appeared to be deleted as of Wednesday, though it still appeared archived on Google.) In the post, Hickam said he takes no offense at the ‘f-word,’ but sought to warn her that NASA might. And while Hickam did not seek to influence the internship and had no authority to do so, according to the post, use of the NASA hashtag later alerted the agency to the irreverent tweets. Naomi and Hickam later exchanged apologies, according to the blog, and Hickam, citing her resume, is now doing “all I can” to secure her a role in the aerospace industry. Hickam declined to comment on the matter in an email to USA TODAY, and Naomi had made her tweets private as of Wednesday. Her bio: “Taking a break from Twitter for a while.” NASA was not immediately available to offer comment