Astronaut lands at Hambrick middle school, shares experiences

NASA Astronaut Dr. Stanley Love

A special guest, NASA Astronaut Dr. Stanley Love, landed at Aldine ISD-Hambrick Middle School last Friday,May 10 along with Congressman Gene Green to speak to students about the importance of math, science and graduating from high school.

With a 19 minutes video, from his first spaceflight in 2008 on the crew of STS-122, Dr. Love showed and explained students the process of a spaceflight. “The first thing we need to do in space is get to work,” said Dr. Love. “Taking out of our chairs and taking photographs with a sensor pole of the external tank (because a few years ago during Columbia spaceflight a piece of foam insulation felt off the tank and destroy the shuttle when they entered the atmosphere), so we’re taking pictures of the tank making sure no piece of foam felt off it, he added.

Dr. Love explained that their destination was the international space station which is flighting around the earth 200 miles up and 170,000 miles per hour in space and the shuttle needs to catch up with it very slowly to not cause a collision. Their mission was to get supplies to the space station crew and get one of its members back to earth.

Sounds a simple task but this implies high technology that only Astronauts can managed. And kids who may study science and math could be the future astronauts. “You can be everything you want,” Dr. Love told students. Science and math are the most important for technology.

“Our country needs more people who want to be astronauts, who want to be engineers, who want to be scientists, who want to be math teachers,” said Congressman Gene Green. “Our space program is not only important in our own country but in the world, for the last 50 years the space program has done so many things technologically that has made our lives so much better.”

Rep. Green said, “Sometimes the road to careers like being an astronaut can seem out of reach when a student is young. For over ten years, I have been bringing NASA astronauts to local middle schools every year to show students that they can achieve anything if they work at it.”

Selected by NASA in June 1998, Dr. Love continues his work at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, having earned Individual Performance Awards in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. During the 2008 spaceflight, Dr. Love logged more than 306 hours in space including more than 15 hours in two spacewalks. Dr. Love is originally from Eugene, Oregon.