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Packing for Earth

From the blog post:

Now it is time to start thinking about coming home. Up to this point I haven’t, and sort of denied it. I am still in denial, but I am going through the motions because I don’t want to forget something when the hatch closes…so we are preparing. Space is just ...

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I knew that you were still not accepting the fact that party time is over when I didn't see your blog for over two months! LOL Come back safe and God Speed!

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Alla the very best for your return....May god bless you...

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Have a safe return. Thank you for all your hard work. Space is so cool and Earth is a beautiful planet.

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Welcome home Suni!!

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As you prepare to head home, I want to thank you for touching the lives of 1000's of Flagler County students who attended the ARISS event held at Indian Trails Middle School yesterday, November 16th or watched the live-stream version that was broadcasted throughout the district. Your perspectives on Life in Space enthralled a packed gymnasium into 10 historical minutes of silence----an amazing feat in that the radio contact occurred during the last periods of a school day prior to Thanksgiving vacation! Being the teacher of Brendan, an 8th grader seated at the radio just before we lost contact with the ISS, I am compelled to share his story. Often it is the teacher's role to inspire students; however, it was this young man's love of space that inspired me throughout the planning stages of this spectacular event. Over the past 8 months, Brendan has grown into a true leader among his classmates and the community. Upon learning that the ARISS contact was a “go”, he took actions to spear-head an ARISS astronomy club at ITMS and also initiated a year-long service-learning project in which he teaches lessons about space and STEM to other classrooms. His interactions with the members of Palm Coast Radio Club as well as the Palm Coast Astronomy Club were vital to the overall success of yesterday’s radio contact with the ISS. Once dubbed a “space geek” among his peers, his breadth of knowledge of and enthusiasm for the NASA space program has earned him a high level of respect throughout our school and community. Up until the day before the contact, Brendan was listed on our school’s script as being the first to speak as well as the student who would end the contact with a closing remark. In a news interview prior to the event, Brendan shared that he wants to be a flight director for NASA and said, “I am speaking to these astronauts, and maybe one day, they will be superiors or retired, and I don’t think they will, but if they could remember my name somewhere, it could be an in.” Through an unfortunate miscommunication, the student order was changed on NASA’s final script, moving Brendan’s question towards the end of contact. In response to this twist of fate, Brendan’s classmates, family members, and teachers gasped when the radio contact went dead and opportunity for Brendan’s voice to travel though space to the ISS was lost. Brendan, a student ambassador for the ARISS contact, was fully aware that this might happen. With a stiff upper lip, he recited his question anyway for the audience-- just as we had practiced for the past 4 weeks. Understating his disappointment at missing his chance to talk to the ISS, Brendan later told a reporter that it didn't dampen the importance of the brief conversation with space. In light of his resilient enthusiasm for the space program, I am confident that Brendan’s ambitions will not be deterred by the moments that barred him from his dream. Always know, Commander Williams that your work truly serves to inspire Brendan, along with a generation of scholars enrolled in the Flagler County School District. As the future of space exploration propels forward, perhaps you will someday recall Brendan, NASA Flight Director, as the name behind one of the few voices that went unheard on November 16th. Thank you, once again, for the incredible experience that you presented to our students. We wish you a safe return to Earth next week! Sincerely, Dana Hausen Teacher of Science & Service Learning Indian Trails Middle School Palm Coast, Florida 32137

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I think about foods.

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Thank you for all your work and the fantastic pictures you gave us. I hope you are home in time for Thanksgiving. Stay safe and God Speed Suni :-)

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Dana, Thank you so much for sharing this. I heard the audio feed, and gasped myself at the suddenly lost signal. Brendan's poise under pressure immediately afterward was just amazing. I suspect we will hear his voice quite a bit - perhaps all the way to Mars and beyond.

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Dana, give Brendan a huge space hug from us at NASA HQ in DC. We need the Brendan's of this world to create a compelling vision for our future endeavors. I'm sure this is just the beginning of space opportunities for him -- perhaps as a NASA intern at some point over the next five years. And thanks to YOU for creating a thirst for knowledge with the leaders of tomorrow. Space is all about breaking down barriers to the unknowns of this universe -- i.e. knowledge itself. As a teacher, you broker in knowledge. You're on the front lines of creating our future! Space helmets off to you and Brendan!! :)

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Dana, Please send my best to Brendan and all the Flagler Co. students. We're looking forward to Brendan and other great students from Flagler Co. joining the NASA team!

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