Today was a good day because I got to meet an astronaut. Dr. Yvonne Cagle spoke to kids at the ʻEwa Beach Children's Fun Day held at Holomua Elementary School. Dr. Cagle is currently assigned to NASA’s Ames Research Center, where she serves as Program Manager for the Commercial Suborbital Research Program and strategic liaison to Silicon Valley partners. Here is a photo of her and me:
Dr. Cagle spent nearly an hour talking to a group of children about space and STEM education while fielding their many questions. I was very impressed with her speaking abilities and knack for answering the kids' unending queries in a fun, easy-to-understand way. There was never a shortage of wide-eyed wonderment from her audience. When she was finished, someone from Mad Science took the floor and showed the children lots of neat science experiments.
Afterward, I got a chance to meet with her and pose for the photo above. Dr. Cagle was very friendly and encouraged me to apply again to the astronaut program. Referring to my selection to the Highly Qualified stage, she said, "if you made it that far, they want you. Keep trying." I appreciate the encouragement.
The event was part of Aerospace in Hawaiʻi Week, which is timed to coordinate with World Space Week. State Senator Will Espero and the Hawaiʻi Office of Aerospace Development helped organize the occasion. They're the same players who coordinated the symposium "Hawaii's Aerospace Industry: the Next Frontier" last May. I was happy to chat with the Office's Director Jim Crisafulli about the many exciting New Space ventures on the horizon for Hawaii. Hopefully this networking opportunity will open some doors for me as well.
I'm grateful of Senator Espero's commitment to aerospace development and proud to have him as my representative in the State Senate. Here is a photo of him with Yvonne Cagle:
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