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Ohio Students Meet Astronaut at NASA Glenn
Astronaut Michael Good recently taught students from across Ohio an inspiring lesson. The Brecksville Broadview Heights high school graduate gave opening remarks on the 14th Annual Young Astronaut Day at NASA's Glenn Research Center.

About 325 third- through twelfth-grade students from more than 22 schools attended the all-day event designed to stimulate their interest in aeronautics, space science and engineering.

Astronaut Michael Good and students Young Astronaut Day took place just days after Good was assigned to the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Still ecstatic over the announcement, he welcomed the students with a speech about the importance of motivation and perseverance.

Image right: Astronaut Michael Good chats with a teacher and a group of students after his opening remarks. Credit: NASA

"You don't have to be the best at everything to achieve your dreams," Good said. "I was one of six children, and I was never the smartest, the nicest, the best athlete or the best looking."

While this may be hard to believe, one thing's for sure: Good pursued his goals with steadfast determination. A former Air Force Test Pilot, he logged more than 2,100 hours in 30 different types of aircraft. He even tested the B-2 Stealth Bomber. But when it came to being an astronaut, Good told the students, he applied three times before he was accepted for an interview.

Out of nearly 3,000 applicants, 17 were selected for the astronaut class of 2000, and Good was one of them. He spent the next six years training in everything from land and water survival to shuttle flight and landing, before he was assigned to serve as a mission specialist on the final shuttle mission to Hubble. Good will perform at least two spacewalks on the mission, which is scheduled for 2008.

Astronaut Michael Good talks to Young Astronaut Day participant "It's great to come back to Ohio and share the excitement with my friends, family, NASA Glenn and the students," he said. "This is a dream mission."

Image left: Good gives a young student advice between activities. Credit: NASA

Since it was launched in 1990, Hubble has delivered fascinating images of the cosmos and has aided scientists in numerous discoveries. Good and the other astronauts will repair the aging telescope, adding a new gyroscope for steering, new batteries, and thermal blankets for insulation. They also will install two new instruments that will improve Hubble's ability to see deep into the universe.

"When the new images and data come back, it will feel really good to know that I touched it and helped make it happen," he said.

After the astronaut's opening remarks, students competed against one another in team competitions. Younger children designed spacesuits to protect potato men from meteorites, and older students built space shuttle tiles out of cardboard, straws and other materials. It may sound strange, but it was all in a day's work for the Young Astronauts.

More Information:
+ Hubble Servicing Mission Page
+ Astronaut Michael Good Biography
+ Hubble Main Page

Jan Wittry (SGT, Inc.)