Friday, February 5, 2010

Oakland Mills In Space

From the HoCo Times:

The man who has dreamed of flying into space from the time he was a toddler watching Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong walk on the moon is finally getting his wish, and he will be making a major shout-out to his Columbia alma mater while there.

Air Force Col. Terry Virts, a graduate of Oakland Mills High School, will take off on the space shuttle Endeavor when it lifts off Feb. 7 to go the International Space Station. One of the items Virts will be taking with him will be an Oakland Mills High School banner.....

Virts graduated from Oakland Mills in 1985 and began attending the U.S. Air Force Academy. He spent about 10 years in the Air Force flying F-16 jets and went on to receive a master's degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He became a test pilot and in 2000 joined NASA.

This will be Virts' first trip to space, and he will be piloting the mission.

The mission of this trip, dubbed STS-130, includes the delivery of two pieces of equipment to be attached to the International Space Station. One is Tranquility, a structure that will house life-support systems such as air and water revitalizers; and the other is Cupola, a seven-windowed, dome-like structure that will be used as an observatory, according to the NASA preflight interview.

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