Franklin Students Visited By NASA Astronaut

Posted by Community Relations Department on 3/13/2013

Franklin students received a visit from NASA astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman, February 28, to share her experiences in space, space station science discoveries and how research in space improves life on Earth.   It is part the NASA Johnson Space Center’s--Destination Station: Space station science and research awareness campaign.     Coleman, an M.I.T. graduate who also holds a doctorate in polymer science and engineering has been in the Air Force for 26 years, and 20 years with NASA, and has logged more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station.  She was a flight engineer aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for launch and landing and spent 159 days in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS).  She narrated a fascinating slide and video presentation that was a real inside look at life on a space station.  She shared with the students everything from hurtling through space at 17,500 miles, and burning up a capsule upon re-entry, to bathing and using the toilet in zero-gravity, and playing the flute, while rock flutist Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull played along, back on earth.  One student asked her how she washed her clothes, and Coleman said when they are dirty, they just throw them in the trash compartment, which was also returned to earth.  It didn’t happen often.  She only got six pairs of pants and twelve shirts for her six-month stay. Coleman gave encouragement and tips for success, especially to the girls.  She told them to “not be afraid to brag a little about yourselves.  Make that person want to meet you.  If you don’t tell them, they won’t know you.” She emphasized strong writing skills, whether it is filling out applications or writing reports or memos.   “You need to be able to express yourself clearly.”  Coleman was impressed with Franklin and the fact that the students were studying for careers that will serve the public.