Gonzaga Prep alum reaches International Space Station
SPOKANE, Wash. — Three astronauts who launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft have entered the International Space Station after spending nearly eight hours in their tiny capsule.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain, a former student at Gonzaga Prep high school, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of Russian space agency Roscosmos were greeted upon arrival Monday by the station’s current crew members, who had waited outside the capsule’s hatch.
The hatch was opened at 11:40 this morning while the station was flying over the southern coast of Yemen. Students at Gonzaga Prep have been watching much of the take off and arrival from their classrooms. McClain graduated from the high school in 1997.
“This morning we saw her takeoff and now we seeing her dock at the space station so yeah it’s just an amazing moment., making history,” said Gonzaga Prep senior Rigee Olavides.
Two years ago, prep students heard from the astronaut first hand, as she visited the school to talk about her path to space exploration.
“It’s kinda crazy to see like a normal human who’s been in our shoes sitting in our own seats do something so crazy and change history like this,” said Olavides.
“She just talked about how like the math and science behind what she does and how like the Prep education prepared her for her career,” said senior Molly Neidermeyer. Who was one of many that watched video of the launch and a live feed of the vehicle’s docking at the ISS.
In a video posted on Nasa’s social media site, McClain said she’s wanted to travel to space since she was very young.
“One thing people don’t know about me is that I wanted to be an astronaut since I was three years old. That’s when I told my mom I wanted to be an astronaut,” said McClain.
She even wrote about how’d she’d get there.
“And when I was in kindergarten, I wrote my first poorly written book on going to space in the Soyuz vehicle,” said McClain.
McClain, will now spend the next six months investigating what it could be like for humans to take longer flights; to the moon and eventually to Mars.
“It’s just amazing to she how far she’s come from Spokane, Washington,” said G Prep senior Ned McEwen.
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