March 21, 2018 8:04 pm

How Queen’s University is connected to International Space Station mission

Queen's University alumnus Drew Feustel is heading to the International Space Station.

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If there is a school reunion at Queen’s University in the next little while, there is at least one graduate who won’t be able to make it. He’s not even on the planet.

Astronaut Drew Feustel blasted off Wednesday to start a six-month mission on the International Space Station. This marks his third time heading into space and will take over as commander come June.

“He’s got a list of experiments over six months which are rich and diverse, said John Fisher, vice-principal of research at Queen’s.

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“Some of the things that resonate with us are about the origins of the universe that fits with our ties to physics and astro-particle physics and our Canadian Astro-Particle Physics Centre here at Queen’s.”

Feustel earned his doctorate in geological sciences back in the 1990s, and he also became a Canadian citizen while in Kingston. Now, he’s on his way to the International Space Station.

It was standing-room only in a classroom at Miller Hall at Queen’s to witness the launch.

“At the geological engineering discipline night, they were showing pictures of the alumni and a picture of Drew came up in his whole attire, said Emily Miszk, a second-year geological engineering student.

“And I literally had a tear in my eye because that could be me — this is where I need to be to get to be there.”

READ MORE: Privatizing the International Space Station could actually be good for Canada: experts

Feustel isn’t the only link to the university when it comes to space these days. Elon Musk attended Queen’s as an undergraduate student, and his company is providing provisions for the space station.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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