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Mike Massimino is Interviewed about NASA's Private Mission; Taylor Swift Economy; Marriage Turbulence over First Class; Michael Block is Interviewed about His Hole-in-One. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 08:30   ET



SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: But curious for your thoughts. Thirteen percent of the black population is no small feat for a Republican candidate there in Florida.

DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Well, I have never seen an accurate exit poll in 30 years, nor have you, nor have that network. And I'm surprised you would repeat an exit poll number. Exit polls are historically wrong and misleading. Therefore, whatever the number or percentage of individuals who voted for him, that's prior to these bad policies. Now we are living in the reality of an individual whose governing. How someone campaigns and how they govern are two different realities. Now we are witnessing firsthand how he's governing. And he's governing to a small vocal minority of the community, not the majority interests of Florida, nor is he governing towards the future of Florida, which will not look like the small minority that he's speaking to in this moment.

SIDNER: Derrick Johnson, you and I don't love the polling, but it is a measure. The best measure that we can often get because we can't talk to every single person in the state. But I appreciate you coming on. I appreciate you stating your thoughts on why you're putting this advisory in place. I appreciate your time.

JOHNSON: OK, but that's -- it's not about love or hate the polling. It is an inaccurate measure that people stopped using because it has been so inaccurate over the last 30 years.

SIDNER: All right. Thank you so much, Derrick. I appreciate you coming on the show.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The SpaceX rocket heading to the ISS, the International Space Station. It's going to dock in just minutes. It's only the second all-private mission to enter the space station ever. What it means for the future of space tourism, next.

I love this song. Elton John's (INAUDIBLE). Love it.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one. Engines full power and liftoff Falcon 9. Go active.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copy, one alpha.


HARLOW: There you go, we have liftoff. That was the SpaceX rocket blasting off Sunday to the International Space Station. It is only the second all-private mission to the space station. It's now set to dock within the next hour. That will be pretty great to see.

So, you're looking at live pictures of the SpaceX crew Dragon capsule approaching the ISS.

And this mission is making history for several reasons, including carrying the first woman from Saudi Arabia to space.


RAYYANAH BARNAWI, MISSION SPECIALIST: To the people around the world, well, the future is very bright. And I would like you to dream big, believe in yourselves, and believe in humanity.


HARLOW: Joining us now is retired NASA astronaut Mike Massimino.

SIDNER: There he is.

HARLOW: I love that you wave to the - wave to our audience this morning.

MIKE MASSIMINO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: I can see myself on this monitor there. I can wave at me.

SIDNER: He's done that from space, as well.


HARLOW: The coolest -- the coolest background.

MASSIMINO: Really cool background.

HARLOW: It's great to see you.

You -- just so people know, he has been to space twice and has completed four spacewalks. He's also the author of the upcoming book, "Moon Shot: A NASA Astronaut's Guide to Achieving the Impossible."

And you've done it. You have done it. MASSIMINO: Yes. Yes.

HARLOW: What is it like to see these private astronauts doing it?

MASSIMINO: I think it's - it's actually very gratifying. This is something that NASA has wanted to do for a long time. I joined NASA in - I was selected as an astronaut in 1996. At the beginning of the space shuttle program they had hoped, before that, 15 years earlier, when a first -- shuttle first began to fly in the early '80s, they had hoped that it would be a commercially viable vehicle.


MASSIMINO: That's what NASA has had as its goals for many years.

That didn't work out. We had a couple of accidents with the space shuttle. We weren't ready for that. But I -- now we - we are doing that. This is the second, as you said, second private astronaut mission.

SIDNER: It is.

MASSIMINO: There's more to come. So I'm really gratified that these goals that we've had for a long time are coming to fruition right now.

SIDNER: Your friend and fellow astronaut, Peggy Whitson -


SIDNER: Making history as the first woman to command a private space flight.


SIDNER: What do you think about this? Because she's - she's done this before.


SIDNER: You know, for the government. Now she's doing this as a private astronaut.

MASSIMINO: Yes, she's - yes.

SIDNER: It's so interesting.

MASSIMINO: She's the -- kind of the adult supervisor on this one because she's an Axiom employee. So the deal they had that Axiom, this company, arranged with NASA a few years ago was to get access to the International Space Station with un - with new astronauts, with private astronauts.


MASSIMINO: They wanted at least one experienced NASA astronaut onboard to command. And so that's Peggy. Very experienced astronaut. The first woman to command the space station. She was my boss for a while. She was my astronaut classmate, and then was my boss in my last few years at NASA. So, they wanted one experienced former NASA astronaut to do that.

So, she's going there as part of her job with Axiom to fly in space with these three other people who were - their first time in space. So that was the arrangement, to get inside the space station and work in there, you need at least one person to kind of - to supervisor and -

SIDNER: Knows what they're doing.

MASSIMINO: Yes. Yes, make sure no one gets into trouble.

SIDNER: That's helpful.

MASSIMINO: Yes. Exactly.

HARLOW: You say - you say the word "work," which is why I think you say, look, private space tourism isn't really the right term for this.


HARLOW: Because this isn't a, quote/unquote, joy ride -


HARLOW: Which, you know, has been criticized by some. This is -- they're doing work.

MASSIMINO: This is -- this is different. They've trained for months to do this. I mean I trained for years.


MASSIMINO: Peggy and I trained together for years before we could go to space. This is a little bit different. It's not -- but it's not just a joy ride. It's not an amusement park ride. It is going to the space station for ten days of work. They have over 20 projects they're working on, biomedical research, life science research, human adaptability to space, technology demonstrations, a lot of educational outreach is going to be done as well. So they have trained, these four individuals have trained to do work in space and to make a difference and to use the private astronaut mission, the commercialization of spaceflight, to do good research, I think, and to inspire people. So, it's a little bit different.


MASSIMINO: It's not just a joy ride. It's not really tourism.

SIDNER: Yes, they're doing something.

I do want to mention -- we have to mention this. You were a first. The first to tweet from space.

MASSIMINO: There you go. SIDNER: I mean -

MASSIMINO: Take that, Neil Armstrong. Yes. Yes.

HARLOW: Walk on the moon. Tweet from space.

SIDNER: Walk on the moon. Tweet in space.


SIDNER: Hey, look, it's all cool for us.


It's all way more than we've done in space.

MASSIMINO: It's real - well, it's really cool for me too. And it's - it's -- now that I've left NASA, and it's interesting the crew they - they announced to go to the moon I guess it was last month, I got to see them there in town in New York and I was so excited for them because what we're accomplishing now, sending people back to the moon, this privatization of space is things that when I joined NASA, I was hoping to get a chance to see. And even though I've left NASA, now I get to enjoy what these other folks are doing. And it's very exciting and I appreciate you covering it.

HARLOW: Oh, yes, thank you.

SIDNER: Thank you for being here, Mike.

HARLOW: We appreciate you coming - coming here.

MASSIMINO: My pleasure.

HARLOW: And congrats again on the book.

MASSIMINO: Oh, thanks very much. Thanks for plugging that. Appreciate it.

HARLOW: Good to have you.

MASSIMINO: Thank you.

SIDNER: It is the hottest ticket in town, costing some eager Swifties tens of thousands of dollars. Harry Enten, he probably brought me a ticket, I'm pretty sure, is here with the data on the -- and he's dancing -- booming Taylor Swift economy.

Go, Harry.

HARLOW: That is not how she dances.

SIDNER: At all.

HARLOW: At all.

Thank you.


HARLOW: I do not have Taylor Swift's voice or talent or moves.

SIDNER: But you can still sing it.

HARLOW: You know, it's -

SIDNER: It's all good.

HARLOW: It's a Monday morning.

Taylor Swift and her loyal fans shaking off the rain at the sold-out show in Foxborough, Massachusetts, over the weekend. It's the biggest show in the country and Swifties are paying up. In fact, one Massachusetts dad spent, ahem, $21,000 for his daughter and her friends to see the pop star after his original ticket purchase fell through.


Lucky kids. Swift's tour is posed to be one of the highest grossing tours of all time.

Harry Enten is here with this morning's number.

What is the number?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: OK, this morning's number is 2.6 million, because that is how many people -- tickets have been sold to Taylor Swift's Eras tour. And, keep in mind, many of those are to out of towners. And, of course, what do out of towners, when you are going to see a Swift concert, also spend money on? Well, the visiting Swifties spend money on food, hotels, merchandise, and transportation. And that is a major jolt to local economies.

This is an estimate of how much it is generating for U.S. cities nationwide. We're talking $100 million to billions of dollars. My goodness gracious. Why? Because, for example, they're spending thousands of dollars a night for just one single hotel room. And we're talking about this throughout the entire nation. What a jolt for local economies, not just for Taylor Swift.

SIDNER: There's a whole economy following this one person. It's fascinating. I just am wondering how much money is this particular tour going to take in from just the ticket sales alone.

ENTEN: Yes, it's going to be an all-time highest grossing tour. So, this is the highest grossing tours ever. We have Ed Sheeran's, we have Elton John's, we have U2. Taylor Swift's Eras at about $600 million.

HARLOW: Already.

ENTEN: And keep in mind, she has actually very few tour dates compared to these other folks and she has not yet gone international. So, this is an incredible amount. And, guess what, I think that this is going to make Taylor Swift a billionaire. Why? Because her tours -- her Eras tours gains her at least $500 million. Her prior net worth was $570 million. You don't have been to a genius to figure out that that gets you over the $1 billion mark, guys.

HARLOW: You know what? If anyone's going to - I think it's awesome. She has been like writing her own music -


HARLOW: Fighting for the rights for her music, standing up for what she believes in. Go, Taylor.

SIDNER: All the things.

HARLOW: All the things.

ENTEN: She's making out and so are the cities that are supporting her concerts.


SIDNER: Harry Enten, thank you so much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

SIDNER: OK, here's a question for you this morning, who should get to fly first class?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have one seat in first class and one in coach. The price is the same because your flight was canceled.




SEINFELD: I'll take the first class.




SIDNER: Of course he would. OK, so that's funny, but this might not be so funny. A reader wrote to "The New York Times" ethicist with this question. My husband flies first class and puts me in coach. Is that fair? The wife writing her husband justifies flying alone in first class because of the cost and the fact that our kids, ages 12 to 16, might feel alone if I were to travel in first with him and leave them in the rear cabin. I feel that is unfair.

Back now with us, Harry Enten, who's shaking his head very quickly. Also we've got CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

Harry, so you're going to put your wife and girlfriend or whatever in the back and just take the front seat?

ENTEN: No, I will not do that because I actually want to maintain the relationship that I'm currently in.

This is the type of thing that makes me want to apologize for all men out there because what the heck is this guy doing? And although I'm not a marriage counselor, the word "divorce" comes to mind very quickly.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's like he's Don Draper and his wife is the nanny. I mean it's just really, really crazy. You said the kids are, what, 12 and 16?

SIDNER: Twelve and 16, yes.

ROMANS: I have a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old and I love -- we love flying together. But sometimes I do get upgraded, right?


ROMANS: And then it's the big question, do we switch off, my husband goes or that I go. Maybe we put -- the older kid gets to go. And then every now and then it will ask me if I want to be upgraded and I say no because I don't want -

HARLOW: Yes, you want to be together.

ROMANS: I don't want to mess up the reservation and I want to be together. I mean it's fun to travel together.

So, I think this is a terrible, terrible sign for this woman. And why doesn't he just travel with his family in coach? I really don't get it?

SIDNER: I have to say, I know she's being very quiet and she's just like, you know what, I'm not going to touch this. But I have to say --

HARLOW: I pitched this story.

SIDNER: Like - you did pitch this story.

HARLOW: My husband sent it to me. I don't know why he sent it to me.

SIDNER: Maybe he was trying to show you what a nice guy he is.

ENTEN: There it is.

HARLOW: Probably.

SIDNER: You know what I mean?

I don't think - I wouldn't go as far as divorce. That is just - no. We can work things out. But I have had the situation where you get upgraded.

ROMANS: Right. Right.

SIDNER: So I would send alcohol or anything that I could back.

ROMANS: Right.

SIDNER: But I have switched places. I have switched places.

ROMANS: Yes, I have - I have switched places too.

HARLOW: But he didn't ask you to.

SIDNER: He did not ask. That would - I -

HARLOW: Your hubby is too nice.

SIDNER: I'd be concerned.

ROMANS: I will say one thing with the -

SIDNER: I'd be concerned.

ROMANS: With the age of my kids -- your kids are younger than mine, but don't - don't let them go to first class by themselves. You'll never put them in coach again, right?

SIDNER: Oh, that's true.

ROMANS: So you always want to make sure to keep the whole family back in coach so people don't have too high of expectations, you know.

HARLOW: Good advice.

SIDNER: (INAUDIBLE) upgrade. What can you do?

Thank you so much, Christine and to you, Harry.

HARLOW: Thank you, guys. That was fun.


All right, now to this. Another bit of fun news this morning. Our chief investigative correspondent, mom and now law school graduate. A big congratulations to our very own Pamela Brown who graduated from George Washington University with her masters in law studies this weekend. She says, I've learned many lessons going back to school, but most of all I've learned to listen to those little voices pushing me to seek more out of life.

So, Pam, while at school has been a pivotal member of CNN in general and especially the investigative unit, and before that as senior Washington correspondent, all while raising - awe -- two kids. Here's what she told "Forbes" magazine last year, as you watch her accept her diploma, folks, with her kiddos.

SIDNER: There she is with the kiddos.

HARLOW: Let's pull that video back up. She said, my son really likes that he goes to school with his backpack and mommy goes to school with her backpack and it's actually been a fun thing to share with my kids that mom is doing the same thing and it's helped encourage them to get ready for school knowing that after I take them to school I'm going to school, too.

SIDNER: That's so cool.

HARLOW: Pamela, we are proud of you and in awe of you and proud to work for a company that supports people doing that too.

SIDNER: Where does she find the time, though? I need to talk to her about it.

HARLOW: I don't know.

SIDNER: No idea.

HARLOW: Probably lack of sleep.


SIDNER: All right, talk about a Cinderella story. Nope, not just Pam's. Meet the man who went from selling golf lessons at a public course in California to sinking a hole in one at yesterday's PGA championship. Boom. Michael Block is here with us next.

HARLOW: There he is.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that go in?



HARLOW: That is not the movie "Tin Cup." That is the real thing. A real life version of the movie "Tin Cup." An incredible moment at yesterday's PGA championship in Rochester, New York. Michael Block acing the 15th hole and capturing America's heart.

Block is a 46-year-old club pro who normally teaches golf for a living at a public course in California, but yesterday he was paired up with Rory McIlroy, one of the game's best. And Block stole the show, finishing 1 over par, good enough for 15th overall, and an automatic invitation to next year's tournament.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL BLOCK, PLACED 15TH AT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: It's amazing. I'm living a dream. I'm making sure that I enjoy this moment. I've learned that after the -- my 46 years of life, that it's not going to get better than this. There's no way. No chance in hell. So, I'm going to enjoy this, and thank you.


HARLOW: Choking up there.

SIDNER: That's so cute.

HARLOW: Rightly so.

SIDNER: Michael Block, Mr. "Tin Cup" himself, joins you now live.

Michael, the emotion in your voice was incredible. When you hit that shot, did you have any idea that like, yes, I just nailed this one?

MICHAEL BLOCK, GOLF-PRO WHO GOT HOLE-IN-ONE AT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: I hit it good, but I didn't see it go in. And Rory stops all of a sudden, he turns around, and he's got his arms open and he's coming and giving me a hug and I - I'm - I - I just, I'm like going, what is going on right now? And he's like -- he goes - he goes, it went in the hole. And I'm just like, you've got to be - you've got to be kidding me right now under these circumstances that it went in the hole. I mean, crazy.

HARLOW: What's it like when a dream actually comes true like that?

BLOCK: A hundred percent. It's -- it is a "Tin Cup" moment without a doubt. I mean I am a club pro. I teach golf. I'm the head golf professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. And for me to be out here with these guys, Rory McIlroy on Sunday, Justin Rose on Saturday, and to have the Rochester people out here that are the biggest supporters of golf I've ever seen in my life was absolutely unbelievable and it was a dream come true.


SIDNER: You know, you're one of those guys - you know, a lot of guys are like, yes, yes, out in the course with their buddies. They're like, I could play in the PGA. I'm - I'm good enough. I could make it. But you actually did. You actually did. Can you tell us about the phone call that you got after this inviting you to play?

BLOCK: Yes. Yes. I'm sitting there, enjoying a moment with my - my family and friends afterwards and I get a phone call from Michael, the tournament director at the Charles Schwab Challenge. So, I'm heading to Fort Worth this afternoon to play at Colonial the rest of the week.


BLOCK: And so I won't be back at work until next week, so I need to cancel a couple lessons. And - and it's - it's a good thing. I think they understand why. I think they understand why I can't - I can't teach them tomorrow. HARLOW: Yes, I think they're going to understand.

Hey, speaking of lessons, so we understand that you charge $150 an hour for lessons. I hope your students locked in that rate with you because I think you can charge a lot more now. What do you think?

BLOCK: Yes, I have a feeling my wife's going to make me charge more. So - yes, no, it's been a - it's been great. I don't know. I don't - I kind of feel bad about charging more for a golf lesson. I'm pretty good with $150 an hour no matter what.

SIDNER: Awe. Awe. That is so sweet.

HARLOW: That -- the embrace. I don't know if we can play it, but the embrace of -- your wife embracing you after this was like pure joy.

BLOCK: She almost killed me. Yes, she choked - she almost choked me out on that one, but, yes, it was great. She was very emotional, as I was, too. She hadn't seen me cry outside of one other time in my life until this week, and I woke - I literally woke up on my bed crying this morning. It was pretty crazy.

SIDNER: Oh, that is so beautiful.


SIDNER: Now, you're crying with joy. What are you going to do with that golf ball? Did you get to keep it? Are you going to enshrine it in some way?

BLOCK: I don't know yet. Yes, it's still sitting in my golf bag. I don't even know where my golf bag is. It's been such a whirlwind ever since that moment. But, yes, it's crazy. I can't wait just to be on the plane and sit back and relax and be able to soak it in and be able to respond to all of my friends that have wished me, you know -- you know, what I've done. I mean it's been - it's been insane. And I can't wait just to respond to everybody and tell them thank you for all the support.


HARLOW: Hey, some curious folks in the control room want to know what your bar tab was last night after that hole in one.

BLOCK: Well, as far as I know it was all hosted by -- so, yes, I definitely - I definitely had - I definitely had a couple and I was lucky enough that Brooksy went away because I knew Brooksy was going to put it all on my tab for sure. So, it was - it was a good moment and I was - I was lucky enough to have - I had Brooks Koepka win, too, and he's - he's such a great guy and everyone was the whole week.

HARLOW: Awe. Love these moments.


[09:00:02] HARLOW: Cherish it. We're really happy for.

SIDNER: Congratulations. That's amazing.

All right. We're going to hand it over to -

BLOCK: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

SIDNER: We appreciate you coming on.

HARLOW: Of course.

SIDNER: Kate Bolduan and John Berman, my buddies, are going to take it away.

"CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts right now.