On Thursday, Pence was photographed with his hand on a piece of flight hardware belonging to the Orion spacecraft. A sign just above Pence’s hand read: “Critical Space Flight Hardware ‘DO NOT TOUCH.'” The event was captured on film and quickly spread across news outlets and social media.
On Friday, the vice president said Rubio dared him to touch to the hardware, apologizing to NASA via Twitter.
– Vice President Pence (@VP) July 7, 2017
NASA said the faux pas was not faux pas at all.
“It was okay to touch the surface,” NASA tweeted. “We were going to clean it anyway.”
It was OK to touch the surface. Those are just day-to-day reminder signs. We were going to clean it anyway. It was an honor to host you! https://t.co/gu8zxknsJv
– NASA (@NASA) July 7, 2017
The flaunting of the sign inspired a number of memes and jokes on social media.
One photoshop job featured Pence placing his hand on MC Hammer as the singer performed his hit “U Can’t Touch This.”