From Spokane to space: an interview with NASA Astronaut Anne McClain

The Spokane Annual Women of Achievement Luncheon honored several women for their outstanding achievements on Friday.

Among those women honored was NASA Astronaut Anne McClain.

Before the luncheon, 4 News Now sat down with McClain to talk about her mission in space. The Spokane native spent more than 200 days on the International Space Station, completed two spacewalks and can’t wait to get back.

“It was just this overwhelming sense of this is where I want to be,” said McClain.

From Spokane, Washington, to flying 17,000 miles per hour over the Earth.

“You just have to be a little bit more brave than you are scared,” said McClain. “You know, if you just have a little more bravery than you do fear then you can do anything.”

From Spokane to space, Lieutenant Colonel McClain is proof it doesn’t matter where you come from.

“Spokane is a great place to grow up. It has all the tools that you need. Nobody from NASA came to me when I was 13 years old and said ‘here’s the path that you are going to be on,'” said McClain. “It was a dream that I had that some days I was the only one who saw it.”

She says it was the people who stood by her in those times that made the difference.

“I’m really proud that I didn’t give up at any point. It really does take thousands and thousands of right decisions to achieve great things and only one to derail it.”

During her 204 days in space, McClain spent more than 13 hours in a spacesuit outside the station.

It was then that she said she felt most connected to Earth.

“Why do we focus so much on our differences when in reality, every single person that we meet, we have so much more in common with than we do different?”

McClain’s dream isn’t over yet.

“I loved space. Everything is better when you’re floating,” said McClain. “And the first thing I said to my doctors when I landed? I looked at her and I said, ‘Can I get back in line and go again?'”