SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
> SUBJECT: ASTRONAUT LANDS IN LAWRENCE,MASS
> PERMISSION GRANTED BY THE EAGLE TRIBUNE N. ANDOVER, MA TO REPRODUCE
> THIS ARTICLE
> Published: 11/28/2006
> Astronaut inspires middle-schoolers
> By Yadira Betances
> Staff Writer
> LAWRENCE - "Can you eat Chinese food up in space?" "Do you have cable
> TV?" "How do you brush your teeth?"
> Those were some of the questions sixth- and seventh-graders at South
> Lawrence East Middle School asked NASA astronaut George Zamka when he
> visited the school yesterday at the invitation of Principal Dina Hickey.
> For the record, you can eat Chinese food, there is no cable television
> and you brush your teeth as you do on Earth, except that you can't spit.
> He showed students two videos about the launch process at Kennedy
> Space Center in Florida and what life is like for astronauts in space.
> While the first video was more technical, the second got lots of
> laughs from students. The children laughed when a female astronaut was
> seen on the overhead projector with her frizzy, long blond hair
> covering her face. Others giggled when an astronaut waited for a
> peeled banana to finally reach his opened mouth.
> Zamka was selected by NASA for astronaut training in 1998 and in
> September he will board the space shuttle Atlantis for his first trip
> into space.
> Zamka will pilot the mission that will deliver the Node 2 connecting
> module to the international space station.
> "It was really cool," seventh-grader Deanna Desfosses, 12, said. "I
> have never seen a real astronaut before and it was great that we had
> the opportunity to see a real space person."
> Listening to Zamka was especially interesting to Stephanie DeLeon, 12.
> "I love space and studying the planets," said Stephanie, who has a
> giant globe in the middle of her bedroom and several books on the
> planets on her bookshelf.
> "He really inspired me to try something new," Stephanie said. "He
> helped me learn more about what astronauts do up in space and how the
> spaceship goes up and how it comes back from atmosphere."
> You could hear the oohs and aahs from the 300 students in the
> auditorium as Zamka answered questions from how they prepare for the
> launch to personal hygiene in the space station.
> "I want to go to space camp because one day I'll do that," said
> sixth-grader Aneuris Reyes.
> Zamka told the children how he grew up building model airplanes. His
> childhood hobby led him to train as a Marine pilot, including 66
> combat missions over Kuwait and Iraq in 1993 during Desert Storm.
> The New Jersey native earned a bachelor of science degree in
> mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984. Upon graduation, he
> was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He also
> received a masters of science degree in engineering management from
> Florida Institute of Technology in 1997.
> Liane Arroyo, 13, was mesmerized by Zamka.
> "It was really good and exciting to see how they do such amazing stuff
> in space," Liane said.
> "He inspired me to become an astronaut myself," said Jennifer
> Guardado, 12. "You have fun but a lot of time it is hard work."
> Zamka remembers having role models to look up to growing up.
> "I want to do the same for these guys if I can," he said. "If I can
> get a couple of students wondering about math or what's out there, I'm
> That was the goal Principal Hickey had when she invited Zamka to talk
> to the students.
> "I was thrilled that we got him to visit," Hickey said. "Our students
> do not get a lot of exposure (to space travel). Because of this, math,
> engineering are areas they will probably explore."