What a treat last weekend in Allentown, PA, where the kids got to meet Capt. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, USN. She’s a former NASA astronaut who flew in two space shuttle missions (STS-115 and STS-126). She logged 27 days in space and 33 hours of spacewalking.
While sharing her experiences with a nifty PowerPoint, we asked what moment gave her pause — or “butterflies in the stomach.” It was the moment she was embarking on spacewalks. Her message to the kids: I grew up just like you and I got to be astronaut — so can you.
The event, an intimate luncheon at a private residence, was hosted by the Allentown branch of the UNWLA.
My kids have been to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, where we witnessed an Atlas IIAS rocket launch a satcom into space (AMC-11) in May, 2004. They’ll never forget that. Nor will they forget meeting Heidi. Incidentally, she’s friends with my wife’s cousins in Minnesota, whom we’ve never met. Maybe we’ll get out there this summer.