Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun


Hi. My name is Nicole Passonno Stott. At 46 years old, I’m a mother, I’m a wife, and I’m a NASA astronaut who’s about to make her first space flight. I’m writing this journal to try and share some of my experiences preparing for the flight and then once on orbit I hope there will be some surprising things to share with you about living and working in space.

Like so many things in life, this job has proven for me that time really does fly when you’re having fun. It was a “mere” 9 years ago that I received the exciting news that I had been selected as a member of the NASA Astronaut Class of 2000. I found myself very fortunately with 16 other people that would make up the 18th group of NASA astronauts.

Flying in space is most certainly the goal of any astronaut, but what you have to accept is that no matter how quickly you get assigned to your first space flight you are ultimately going to spend the majority of your time as an astronaut working here on the planet. Fortunately, the work and training is all very cool, and has been filled with challenges and opportunities to experience things that I’m pretty certain wouldn’t have been possible for me otherwise.

The pictures to the right are my year 2000 and year 2009 astronaut portraits. I haven’t changed a bit….☺ The past 9 years have been fun and the time has flown by. Along the way my husband and I have been blessed with a beautiful son, I have visited places around the world that I never imagined I would ever have the chance to see, and we have made some lifelong friends. And now, to top it off, I’m going to have the amazing opportunity to fly in space --- launching this summer on the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-128, living and working for 4 months as a crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS), and then returning to Earth on the Space Shuttle Atlantis mission STS-129.


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