WASHINGTON, July 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence apologized to NASA on Twitter on Friday after a photo showing him touching a piece of hardware with an apparent "DO NOT TOUCH" sign went viral on social media.
Pence was visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday when the photo was taken, and he put his hand on what was labelled as a "critical space flight hardware."
He later said "sorry" to NASA on Twitter, joking that Florida Senator Marco Rubio dared him to do it, highlighting Rubio with a red circle mark in the accompanying photo.
NASA then replied with wit and humor, saying that "It was OK to touch the surface. Those are just day-to-day reminder signs. We are going to clean it anyway," adding that it was an honor to host the vice president.
The photo had gone viral shortly after it was posted, with some social media users criticizing the vice president for not following the sign. Some mocked Pence by adding hilarious captions or photo-shopping the image, altering the object he was touching.
Pence later joined the mocking crowd, posting a tweet that reads "Okay... so this isn't exactly the first time this has happened", replacing the NASA hardware in the photo with a porcupine.