April 6, 2018 5:03 pm

NASA astronaut drops Queen’s a line from space

Feustel takes questions from students and the public at Queen's University.

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Drew Feustel, NASA astronaut and former Queen’s alumnus, paid a virtual visit to Queen’s University on April 6 – from space.

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


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Feustel and his crew-mates arrived at the International Space Station on March 21, but he took the chance to call Queen’s students, students from local public schools and members of the general public gathered at the university Friday morning to answers questions via video chat.

Feustel was born in Pennsylvania and earned his bachelors and master’s in the United States, but he earned his PhD in Geological Sciences at Queen’s University in 1995.

The more than 500 people at the university’s Grant Hall were thrilled with the once in a lifetime experience of speaking to an astronaut in space.

Grade 7 student Rory Keffer asked Feustel what he would do if the I.S.S. was damaged.

Feustel responded: “We practice even when we’re here on ISS fire drills and depressurization drills and toxic atmosphere drills.”

READ MORE: 9 years training, 6 months in orbit: meet Canada’s next astronaut

After the session, 10-year-old Sama Moustafa said she was inspired from being able to converse with the Canadian Astronaut.

“I wanted to be an astronaut when I was five years old but now I want to be an engineer when I grow up.”

Feustel’s mission on the space station is meant to last 8 months and will involve two planned spacewalks and a variety of other scientific experiments. The Queen’s graduate will also be named station commander in June.

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