Astronaut Mike McCulley visits and contributes to Challenger Learning Center

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Former Astronaut Mike McCulley, veteran space shuttle pilot and present president and CEO of the United Space Alliance, visited the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska last week and brought not only his fishing rod with him, but a $5,000 dollar check for the Center. "It's a pleasure for us, the United Space Alliance to present this check to the Challenger Learning Center in addition to this beautiful shuttle model that we brought. We are very active as a company in community affairs and in particular we are fond of educational programs that help our youth create a vision for the future, and so this fits our bill precisely," said McCulley.

The former Astronaut spent personal time with the participants of the Challenger Learning Centers summer camp program, "As I set there with the campers this afternoon I was very impressed with their questions, they were enthusiastic and they had wonderful questions way beyond the how do you go to the bathroom in space, and I looked at that and I felt you know the future of our country is in good hands, because here we have a group of kids that are interested in science and technology and they are off building things and experiencing space simulation and their questions were particularly detailed and they want to know how it all works and comes together and so I was very encouraged this afternoon by these kids, they are awesome," said McCulley.

McCulley also participated in the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association Kenai River Classic and took the opportunity to share with U.S. Senators and government officials the awe of his experiences, "Sitting on top of that much thrust is an awesome experience, it's a shaking and rattling and roll that I can't put into words, but it takes that much energy to take the space shuttle which ways 250,000 pounds and get it going 18,000 miles and hours, that's why man space flight will always be high risk, but the view when you're there is something I wish every human being could experience," said McCulley. Speaking about the future McCulley said , "President Bush has given us a vision and a place to go of what he wants us to do next. Our job is now to do the first step of that and that is to return the shuttle to flight and the next step is to complete the international space station and then the third step is to build a system that can go back to the moon and on to Mars or outside of earth orbit and beyond," said McCulley.

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