Local astronaut honored at Drexel

February 19, 2009 3:59:09 PM PST
A NASA astronaut and local hero returned to his alma mater today for a campus rally and celebration.More than 300 people celebrating Captain Christopher Ferguson's achievements since graduating from the school in 1984.

Many from Archbishop Ryan High were on hand to pay tribute to a former student.

The Dragons' mascot was there as well as Drexel's fusion jazz band.

They set the stage for the guest of honor, who was quick offer an important reminder to his audience.

He encouraged everyone to witness a shuttle launch before the program ends next year.

"For every one of you who pay taxes, consider this a part of your personal bucket list," Captain Ferguson said.

Captain Ferguson explained that the shuttle will be replaced with a more conventional, safer constellation rocket.

After accepting a T-shirt from the President of Drexel's Dac Pac, he talked about his first space mission in 2006, to provide power to the International Space Station, and what he called a "home improvement mission" last November.

"We took a 3 bedroom, one bathroom home, and we converted it into a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, with a really nice kitchen," Ferguson said.

And he said the most important item on that second mission was a water recycling machine in preparation for another trip to the moon!

"That is the plan. The plan right now is to be back on the moon in 2020," Ferguson said.

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