Phoning home: NASA astronaut speaks with Air Force cadets

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COLORADO SPRINGS – Cadets from the United States Air Force Academy got an opportunity that’s out of this world as some got the chance to speak with a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut and former Falcon Raja Chari answered questions sent in by current cadets while floating in outer space.

“I think my experience at the academy and the military afterwards has made me a full time believer that what the academy is doing is the right path,” Chari said. “There is a lot of to be learned, trust me. I think that’s one of the biggest things involvement wise that lead me to success later.”

Chari graduated from the Academy in 1999. He was selected to join NASA in 2017 and was recently picked for their SpaceX Crew 3 mission which is launched last year.

“When I got the call that I was going to get assigned to fly into Crew3 that was probably the most surprising moment the time that I’ve had at NASA,” Chari said.

Questions from the cadets ranged from, “What is one unexpected challenge or experience on the Space Station that your training could not have prepared you for?” to “What is one thing that you’re not allowed to do on the International Space Station that you wish you could?”

The Astronautical department said for students events like this help connect them to future jobs within NASA and show them how their fellow alumni got to where they are today.

To learn more about the USAFA Astronautical department click here.

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