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Astronaut Bob Hines

Bob Hines, wearing a red work polo and white gloves, smiles at the camera from his position at a workstation with many screens and wires aboard the International Space Station.

“I have been interested in aviation for as long as I can remember. There are pictures of me at two years old and younger with my face pinned against the window, watching airplanes taxi around the airport. I had never not known that I wanted to be a pilot. The amazing engineering that goes into [airplanes], but certainly the freedom of flight is just spectacular. Being able to see the world from a different perspective is incredible, and getting to fly in space was the culmination of that, seeing the world from an entirely new vantage point.

“One thing that surprised me was how emotional the launch piece is, especially for a first-time flier. One, it’s the culmination of these lifehood dreams where it’s taken so long to get here, and you’re finally getting to launch to space, which so few people have the privilege to do. Then, for a long-duration mission, you’re leaving your family and kids behind, and there’s that emotion as well. So, all those things piled up, it just makes for an incredibly special experience, and it’s amazing because eight and a half minutes later, after that engine lights, you’re in space, and you look back on it.”

— Bob Hines, Astronaut, NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: NASA / Kjell Lindgren
Interviewer: NASA / Tahira Allen

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