NASA astro­nauts visit MSU, share ex­pe­ri­ences

Starkville Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By SARAH RAINES life@starkvilledai­lynews.com

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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SDN) (Photo by Sarah Raines,

Re­tired NASA as­tro­naut Cap­tain Fred Haise, the lu­nar mod­ule pi­lot for Apollo 13, speaks about his ca­reer.

(Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)

MSU alumni and for­mer NASA Mis­sion Con­trol flight con­troller Jerry Bo­stick speaks to the SDN about op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents.

SDN) (Photo by Sarah Raines,

MSU wel­comed re­tired NASA as­tro­naut and re­tired Bri­gadier Gen­eral Charles Duke to Starkville on Wednesday to cel­e­brate a part­ner­ship with ASF.

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