Vice President Mike Pence broke the rules during a tour of NASA’s Kennedy Spacer Center on Thursday and the internet isn’t ignoring it.

Mr. Pence was touring the facility with Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, when Reuters photographer Mike Brown captured the vice president blatantly disregarding a prominently displayed “DO NOT TOUCH” sign.

The image of Mr. Pence placing his hand on equipment labeled “critical space flight hardware” mere inches from the warning sign surfaced online late Thursday and instantly went viral.

The photograph exploded on internet forums like Reddit and 4Chan where visitors raced to make comical mock-ups of the image, and a tweet containing the original snapshot shared by Twitter user Mike Rundle on Thursday was retweeted nearly 9,000 times by Friday afternoon in addition to garnering hundreds of reactions.

“New rule: you touch the spacecraft, you go with it,” responded astrophysicist Katie Mack.

“When you’re a star they let you do it,” tweeted space author Jason Major, a likely reference to Donald Trump’s comment about grabbing women’s genitals in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape that was leaked before last year’s presidential election.

Mr. Trump last week signed an executive order re-establishing the National Space Council and appointed Mr. Pence as its chairman.

“Let us do what our nation has always done since its very founding and beyond: We’ve pushed the boundaries on frontiers, not just of territory, but of knowledge,” Mr. Pence told Kennedy Center employees Thursday, according to NASA. “We’ve blazed new trails, and we’ve astonished the world as we’ve boldly grasped our future without fear. From this ‘Bridge to Space,’ our nation will return to the moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars.”

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