NASA astronauts visit MSU, share experiences
Mississippi State University celebrated a partnership with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation with special guests, and the SDN had the opportunity to speak to two NASA astronauts and a flight controller on Wednesday to hear about their personal experiences.
Retired Brigadier General Charles Duke, Jr. worked in both Mission Control as well as the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for Apollo 11 and served as the lunar module pilot on board Apollo 16.
Duke and his crew were in space from April 1 to April 27, 1972. He and spacecraft commander John Young set the record for lunar surface stay at 71 hours and 14 minutes. While on the moon, they collected 213 pounds of rock and soil samples for research.
Duke said a highlight in his own career was being a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force before joining NASA, working for Mission Control and later being on a mission.
“It was a great career, and a big challenge, and something I would repeat again,” Duke said. “I think probably the biggest challenge as a flight astronaut was my flight on Apollo 16. It was a demanding three days on the lunar surface.”
Duke said, while on the surface, they were focused on the operational tasks at hand. With a lot of experiments to carry out and samples to collect, making the mission a success was his biggest challenge.
Of all the things he misses, Duke said training was not one of them, but the flights that he took after he finished training were his favorite parts of the job.
“The thrill of a flight, I guess, was the most exciting,” Duke said. “The view of
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Retired NASA astronaut Captain Fred Haise, the lunar module pilot for Apollo 13, speaks about his career.
MSU alumni and former NASA Mission Control flight controller Jerry Bostick speaks to the SDN about opportunities for students.
MSU welcomed retired NASA astronaut and retired Brigadier General Charles Duke to Starkville on Wednesday to celebrate a partnership with ASF.