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NASA Astronaut Lands at Woldingham School


NASA astronaut, Dr James van Hoften gave Woldingham School students and staff an enlightening talk about his experience as a NASA astronaut and his associated career.

Dr van Hoften (known as Ox), is one of a handful of people who has been to space and one of the even smaller number to have done a spacewalk – in fact he accomplished four space walks to repair disabled satellites. He completed eight years as a NASA astronaut, including two flights as a Mission Specialist on the space shuttles Challenger in April 1984 and Discovery in August 1985 and has spent a total of 338 hours in space.

A lively Q&A session followed Dr van Hoften’s talk, with questions ranging from “What can we do about all the junk in space?”, “Is it true your spine stretches when you are in space?”, to “How do you shower in space?”

Head of Sixth Form, Josephine Lane said,

“Dr van Hoften’s talk was truly mesmerising, as he spoke of the challenges of ‘catching’ a giant satellite while travelling forwards and upwards at the same time at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. The talk was inspired and organised by the Sixth Form as part of their Cultural Society, open to the whole school. Such enrichment events abound throughout the school.”


Published: February 20 2017

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