Shannon Walker, mission specialist candidate, congratulations.
A: Thank you.
me what it was like when you got the news that you had been picked
to start training as an astronaut.
It was absolutely
unbelievable. I grew up in Houston and the space program has always
been in my backyard. And ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be
a part of it and work for the space program, and to be an astronaut.
So, when I finally got the call, it was just an amazing thrill.
getting this opportunity is going to be a great way to continue
the exploration and travel that you've been doing here on Earth.
Tell me about some of those experiences and how you think they've
helped make you ready for this opportunity.
Well, I was
actually very fortunate to work for the space program my entire
career. And one of the things I've done is spend a lot of time over
in Moscow. I lived in Moscow, working for the space program with
our Russian partners. And since space travel in the future is very
much an international effort, working with our international partners
just puts me in a much better position to understand what it's going
to be like in the future.
and your astronaut classmates are going to be the people who will
be on the missions that bring the vision for space exploration to
life. You folks are going to be the ones who are going to go to
the moon and teach us how to get ready to move off beyond Earth's
orbit. What's your philosophy about the future of humankind moving
out into the cosmos, And being one of the first to do it?
Yes, well, I think it's
humankind's destiny to move out into the stars. We're taking the
small steps now to make that possible, just looking forward to being
a part of developing the new generation of vehicles that are going
to start taking us there.
know, of course, that NASA has an important role to play in supporting
and promoting education. Tell me what you'd tell young people about
how the role of education and science and math, how that plays an
important part in the challenging role of space flight.
Well, for any
child growing up, I think it's important to dream big and to work
hard in school -- because education is the key. And if you're going
to be part of the space program, you're going to have to work hard
and do well in math and science because that's what the space program