What’s it like in outer space? – Thoreau Elementary hosts virtual Q&A with NASA astronaut

    Anne McClain Virtual Visit Thoreau

    NASA astronaut Anne McClain has done quite a bit in the last year and a half. She spent nearly seven of those months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). That trip included two spacewalks where nothing but space came between her and the Earth below her. In March 2019, while still aboard the ISS, she spent about an hour speaking to students at Thoreau Elementary School. Since then she has been staying active with NASA and looking forward to events like the May SpaceX flight. 

    On May 21, McClain joined a virtual call with students from Thoreau, but this time Earth’s gravity kept her grounded. She started the event showing the students a video about her experience in space. Several students asked McClain interesting questions about her time above Earth. Some of those questions were about what she would eat, what it is like floating around and, of course, how to use the bathroom on a spaceship. 

    McClain stressed to students how important it is to have dreams and to work hard to follow them. She mentioned how she dreamed about being an astronaut when she was just three years old. There was also a point where she talked about the importance of exercise. She showed a second video about how astronauts stay fit during their space missions. McClain even got everyone on the video call to stand up and do space stretches.

    McClain was selected by NASA in 2013. She is currently a part of the Expedition 58/59 crew that launched to the ISS in December 2018. The Spokane, Wash. native earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from West Point. As a Senior Army Aviator, McClain has more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different aircraft. She flew 216 combat missions during a 15-month deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom. McClain’s cousin, Ann Fitzmaurice, is a teacher at Thoreau.