Published: 04/18/2022 17:32:22
Modified: 04/18/2022 17:31:04
Richard Arnold is just a regular guy who enjoys running, fishing, reading, hiking, biking, and playing guitar.
Oh, and it happens to be a NASA astronaut who spent 197 days in space.
Arnold and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson visited the Christa McAuliffe School in Concord on Monday to talk about the emerging Artemis program which aims to return to the Moon and create a sustained human presence there as a base to begin exploring Mars. .
The timing wasn’t perfect, as the event happened hours before NASA announced it was returning the massive rocket to the Cape Canaveral Assembly Building after problems with the valves caused scuttled the planned test firings.
NASA had planned to launch the uncrewed Artemis I into space in June, the next step in its plan to send astronauts to the Moon by 2025. It’s unclear how that schedule will be affected by the Monday’s decision.
Nelson, a former US senator, was the second congressman to fly in space. He was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia when it lifted off on January 12, 1986. This flight took place two weeks before the ill-fated Challenger mission that claimed the lives of the entire crew, including Concord’s McAuliffe, who was to become the first teacher. in the space.
As part of the Artemis program, NASA plans to bring new American astronauts to the Moon, including the first woman and the first person of color. One of the key principles of the program is to inspire a new generation of space explorers and encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
At the mention of STEM, students from the Christa McAuliffe School cheered and applauded their NASA guests, who were joined by U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and Rep. Annie Kuster.