News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 8, 2013

Message from Hoosier in space to students: study subjects you love and ‘put heart into those’

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana native who’s commanding the International Space Station said Thursday he’s looking forward to a visit home after he returns from five months in orbit.

Astronaut Kevin Ford, speaking via video hookup to the Indiana Senate in the Statehouse, wore a blue shirt with a large Indiana flag emblem as he floated inside one of the space station’s modules for the 20-minute conversation that was shown on a large video board above the Senate’s rostrum.

He spoke about the scientific work being done on the station during his stay as he took questions from senators and a couple of teenage family friends from his Blackford County hometown of Montpelier.

Ford demonstrated biting a solid bubble of juice that floated in front of him before seventh-grader Kelli Neff asked Ford what he wanted to do first after returning to Earth.

Ford drew laughs when he exclaimed he wanted a shower — “because I haven’t had a shower in 107 days.”

The 52-year-old Ford flew to the space station in October with two Russians aboard a Soyuz that lifted off from Kazakhstan. He’s scheduled to be at the station until March. “I can’t wait to come home to see you,” he said.

State Senate leaders invited schools around Indiana to watch the conversation with Ford.

Ford said he didn’t see himself becoming an astronaut while he was a student at Blackford High School but always wanted to be a pilot. That led him to study aeronautical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and join the Air Force.

“I enjoyed physics and math and science,” Ford said. “So I took the things I enjoyed and I would encourage students to find the things, the areas they really love the most and just put their heart into those.”

Ford’s 85-year-old father, Clayton, and three of his siblings were among the family members attending the Senate hookup, along with David Ford’s son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Nancy Richardson, Kevin Ford’s older sister, said David Ford had introduced his brother to the Senate in 2001 after NASA selected him as an astronaut. She said David was a pilot who first took Kevin flying.

“Kevin decided that’s what he wanted to do,” Richardson said. “He started working in a grocery store in our little town of Montpelier so he could get money to take pilot lessons on weekends and he got his pilot’s license by the time he was 17.”

The video hookup ended with senators approving a resolution honoring Ford, who showed off a small Indiana flag that he said he also took with him into space for his 2009 mission as the space shuttle Discovery’s pilot.

“I love the place,” Ford said of Indiana.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity