The American International School · Vienna hosted three internationally renowned astronauts this year as a part of the school’s ongoing emphasis on emerging science and technology.This special opportunity to meet, engage and question the astronauts provided AIS students with unique insight into the mechanisms of manned space exploration, inspiring young minds to explore the future of flight, in this century and beyond.
The world is in your hands now
“The things that we are doing in space are going to help us build better lives here on the ground,” said Dr. Sandra Magnus, a former NASA astronaut who met with AIS Elementary, Middle, and High School students on February 7. Magnus served as Flight Engineer on board the International Space Station and was on the crew of the final Space Shuttle mission.
People are going to value you because you’re hardworkingDr. Magnus
Dr. Magnus shared her experiences with students and stressed that, in the face of growing internationalism, hard work remains the most important attribute in success. “No matter what job you have, people are going to value you because you’re hardworking, because you’re a good team member, because people can count on you to do your job,” she said. “If you’re that person, it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, what country you’re from, or how you were raised, or who your parents were, or what language you speak.”
Reflecting on the experience, students felt inspired. “I’ve never seen an astronaut in my life before I came to this school,” said Middle School student Alisa. “She really taught us that you can do anything.”
Meet astronauts Rusty Schweickart and Dumitru Prunariu
Earlier this year, the AIS Middle School, along with Grade 5 and the High School Science classes, met with astronauts Rusty Schweickart and Dumitru Prunariu. The students were able to spend an hour learning about their lives and their experiences, followed by a question and answer session.
Schweickart, a former NASA astronaut and U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, was the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 9 mission, the first manned flight test of the Lunar Module. He performed the first in-space test of the life support system used by the Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon.
Prunariu, a Romanian cosmonaut, was selected for space flight as a part of the Intercosmos Program and completed an eight-day space mission with a Russian cosmonaut. Prunariu is a past-president of the Romanian Space Agency and is vice-chairman of the International Relations Committee of European Space Agency.
The Austrian Space Forum commended AIS on hosting the astronauts for students, saying it was a “great event.”
Learn more about the experience students had with Dr. Sandra Magnus in this video: