Christopher J. Cassidy, mission specialist candidate.
A: Thank you
me what was it like to get the news that you had been picked to
be an astronaut.
Oh, it was
unbelievable. A few days before I had received an e-mail to contact
the selection office on a particular day and time. And about 10
minutes before the time for the phone call, the phone rang in our
house, and my wife and I kind of looked at each other with nervous
apprehension. She answered and handed the phone to me with big eyes.
And sure enough, it was Kent Rominger, and he gave me the good news.
I was just ecstatic.
you're a Naval Academy man, I'm going to assume that your desire
to be in the Navy goes back at least to high school. Tell me where
and when you got the desire to be an astronaut. And about how you
contacted a fellow Navy SEAL who offered you some guidance.
Well, I'd always
been interested in the space program. But it wasn't until I became
a SEAL and in the SEAL team and sort of learned about Bill Shepherd's
involvement in the space program that I actually became aggressively
interested in pursuing the goal. I contacted him, and he provided
some guidance and some mentorship, and now here I am.
and your astronaut classmates should be the ones who are on the
missions that are going to bring the vision for space exploration
to life. You folks are going to be the ones who are going to go
to the moon and figure out how we move on from there. Tell me about
your philosophy about humankind moving out into the cosmos, and
being one of the people who's going to get to do that.
Well, I'm truly excited
about all the possibilities and opportunities. During my initial
time in NASA, I'm just motivated to be part of the supporting effort
to get the initial folks to that level. And then when my time comes,
I'll be motivated to jump in and do the same thing.
has an important role to play in supporting and promoting education.
What do you want to tell young people about the role of education
and science and math in the challenging work of space flight and
the challenging life of an astronaut?
Well, first and foremost,
I just want to tell them to believe in themselves and never quit,
with education and any other thing they do. And that certainly applies
to their academics as they pursue their goals and graduate through
the various levels of education. It will always serve them well
no matter what field they serve in.