Maryland native, astronaut talks to STEM students from space


Maryland resident and astronaut Ricky Arnold spoke with participants of a talk from all the way in outer space Wednesday.

The 54-year-old Bowie native is on the International Space Station, and the Goddard Space Center and NASA hosted the event.

It’s his second mission to space. He spoke to STEM students who got to ask him all kinds of questions, everything from what is space garbage to how of a launch feels.

With his parents watching, Arnold answered the questions all while organizers provided the background on what space exploration means for the world today.

Astronaut Paul Richards, who was on mission space flight STS 102 in 2001, also spoke with the students.

“Exploration brings curiosity. It brings technology. It brings a different way of thinking, and it helps the people down on Earth. Many of the technologies we have now from computer to cellphones came from the space program,” Richards said.

NASA arranges these talk backs often in hopes of inspiring young minds.

“My interest in space is seeing if there’s extra-terrestrial life in other parts of the universe,” student Vincent Coleman said.

Arnold has been in space since last March. He will return to Earth in October, and his parents couldn’t be prouder.

“I think it’s obvious with the kids that he enjoys what he’s doing, and I think it’s a good example to the kids that you can do what you want to do if you set your mind to it,” father Dick Arnold said.

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