Students Skype With Challenger Astronaut

Students in Mrs. McDonald’s and Mrs. Syed’s class enjoyed a Skype experience with former NASA astronaut Terry Hart. Hart was an astronaut at NASA from 1978-1984 where he served on the control team for four space shuttle missions and was a member of the STS-41-C Challenger crew in 1984. Hart is currently a professor of aerospace engineering at Lehigh University.
 
Hart shared the details from the 1984 five-man, seven-day mission which successfully deployed the NASA Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), a school-bus-sized space lab that allowed astronauts to conduct experimental data on the outer space environment until 1990 when it was retrieved by the crew of Columbia. Hart’s crew aboard the Challenger also retrieved the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite, repaired it onboard and then released it into orbit.
 
Students enjoyed asking Hart questions about the mission and the strenuous preparation needed to travel to space. They also asked fun questions, such as "How do you go to the bathroom onboard?" and squirmed a bit when Hart told them how the spaceship allows even urine to be recycled.
 
The experiences were generously donated by the Messina and Webber families, who placed the winning bids on these silent auction items at the GSB auction on April 8.
 
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Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.