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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Meeting an Astronaut

We've had such a busy week, there hasn't been time to blog it all. One exciting thing was meeting Clayton Anderson, astronaut. We had the opportunity to attend a brunch and meet & greet with Clay. Then we got to hear him speak about his experiences and life on the International Space Station. He brought along a slide shows of some photos he took. Absolutely amazing!

Last summer, we visited the Johnson Space Center. At that time, the person in the briefing room told everyone that if you were between the ages of 4-12 (I think), you could possibly be the first person on Mars. We had no idea that NASA was directed by the president to continue space exploration. The current space shuttle is being phased out and they will be going back to a rocket-style model. It will be faster than what we have now. They estimate it will take just under 2 months to get to Mars.

When Nathan heard that he was the right age, he announced that he's going to be an astronaut to Mars. He hasn't really wavered on that. Some days he'll be a rock star and other days he plans to be an astronaut. After meeting Clay, I asked him if he planned to be an astronaut, a rock star or both. He told me both, "because they'll need music on Mars." Good point.

When we met Clay, he gave an autographed photo to each of the boys. We told him Nathan plans to go to Mars. So he wrote, "Nathan, I'll see you on Mars." This photo is Nathan studying his picture. Since Clay has the same basic message every time we read about him or see him on the news, it was no surprise to see Nathan day-dreaming about being an astronaut. Clay encourages everyone to dream big and reach for the stars.

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