Astronaut and Lake Orion native holds Q-and-A from space
(WJBK) - A proud 1983 Lake Orion High School graduate reached for the stars - and got there.
NASA astronaut Drew Feustal is on the International Space Station right now. With the help of technology, he reached back down to earth to pump up students about science.
"Everyone is like the sky's the limit," said Lake Orion student Samuel Gdowski. "Now the sky is not the limit - you can go past that."
This has been an out of this world, life changing week for Samuel Gdowski. He talked one-on-one with fellow Lake Orion Dragon Drew Feustal from space.
Samuel got to ask this- "How did your time in Lake Orion High School Dragon help prepare you for this mission?"
"Well Sam, what it taught me was that I needed to try to do better," he said. “I struggled in high school a little bit and did not do as well as I liked. And I realized early on, shortly after my time there, that if I wanted to achieve some great and fantastic goals like becoming an astronaut, that I needed to do better."
Feustal donned his Lake Orion colors and even changed into his Oakland Community College shirt in-between. Drew Feustal was beaming with pride for his alma mater.
Berenice Carrillo also was able to as a question as well to Drew Feustal's partner in space, Ricky Arnold.
"I asked what he missed most about earth, besides friends and family," she said.
"Weather," he said. "I think that is a pretty easy one. Just the sound of thunder, the smell of Ozone from lightning, the breeze in your face."
Administrators were as excited as the students to have this extraterrestrial experience.
"The students were mesmerized," said Kyle Meteyer, Lake Orion associate principal “Nobody was on their phones and if they were, they were tweeting about what was happening right then and there.
"And the students were really into it, especially the students who got to ask the questions. They were talking to somebody who is 250 miles above the earth and they were answering their questions as if they were right here in front of them."
Beyond the weather and grades, when someone outside of the world we know is having a fireside chat, the conversation has to get deep.
The hometown hero's hope for humanity goes like this.
"We have to learn to live off the planet earth. I think that's important for us," Feustal said. "I think that if you look at the history of our planet, the changes it has gone through and the fact that the dinosaurs are no longer here, that is a challenge for us."
"The concept of not having the fear-with all the accidents that have happened in the space race,” Gdowski said. "Being able to move past that fear and move on, that’s amazing."