NASA Astronaut Shares His Story With K-8 Students
by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Madison Ratley
460th Space Wing Public Affairs
July 29, 2018
Nearly 600 children, kindergarten through eighth grade, from
Aurora Quest K-8 School filled the gymnasium for a general assembly.
Little did they know that this particular assembly would be unlike
any they’ve had this year. After Dave Schoenhals, Aurora Quest K-8
principal, greeted his students he revealed the big surprise. They
would be meeting a real-life astronaut.
The gym grew loud
with the chatter of children as they shifted around on the wood
floor and whispered into the ears of their neighbors.
Schoenhals asked the children to quiet down and give their full
attention to Col. Jack “2 Fish” Fischer, NASA astronaut.
Fischer started his talks with the children by making something very
Col. Jack “2 Fish” Fischer, NASA
astronaut, answers questions about his experiences in space
posed by students during a general assembly on May 22, 2018
at Aurora Quest K-8 School, Aurora, Colorado. Fischer was
invited as special guest and was a surprise to the nearly
600 students in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior
Airman Madison J. Ratley)
“So I have a couple words that I love to use all the time.
‘Awesome,’ because it’s awesome. The second one is ‘Cool’,” said
He encouraged the children to be vocal during his
presentation. Whenever they saw or heard something they liked, they
used one of his favorite words. With his only request out of the
way, Fischer began his presentation while standing in front of a
large projector screen that played footage from his missions. He
explained everything from training to traditions, the importance of
quarantine and how space suits work, as well as what he does on
launch day and some the high-tech equipment they use on-board.
At the end of the presentation Fischer walked among the crowd of
children who waved their hands to ask questions about how to become
an astronaut, what it’s like out in space and, if he’d ever met a
Martian, to which Fischer replied;
“I’ve never met any. But
space is really big so if I ever do I just hope they’re friendly.”
One little girl raised her hand to say that she thought space
was really ‘cool,’ but she was afraid it was too dangerous. Fischer
smiled and answered...
“Space is dangerous, but it’s worth it.”
Fischer departed the gymnasium to an applause from students who
gained a new perspective on space exploration.
Fischer’s visit with the children at the school, he made his was to
Buckley Air Force Base. While on Buckley AFB, Fischer learned about
the bases’ mission, specifically the space-based infrared system. He
then received a tour of the operations floor and met with Airmen
from the 460th Space Wing for a question and answer session over
lunch at the Panther Den. Fischer said he felt the future lies with
“Find what you love. Find where you fit in and
keep your eyes and heart open to changes.”
stressed the importance of every role in the Air Force...
“There are no bad jobs. If what you’re doing helps the team be
better, you’re doing your job. Just do your best.”
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