November 15, 2017 – Col. Jack Fischer, NASA astronaut, met with more than 70 Schriever Airmen and family members at the event center November 13. While at Schriever, he spoke about his Air Force and NASA career, as well as his time in space. Fischer recently returned from a mission aboard the International Space Station, spanning 136 days.
The purpose of his visit was to bring awareness of the Air Force Space Command astronaut program and what Air Force astronauts do in conjunction with NASA. Additionally, he aims to educate and inspire others about the program sharing how science, technology, engineering and mathematics relates to service in the Air Force and how it is key to becoming an astronaut.
“When I was about six years old, I visited my grandfather, who worked at Johnson Space Center,” Fischer said. “There was a big rocket there called Saturn V and I thought it was coolest thing. That prompted me to visit the library and read as much as I could about space. Later on, during my time at the United States Air Force Academy, going to space became a passion of mine and I went after it with everything I had.”
Airmen and children in the audience viewed a video of his team’s mission in space and then had the opportunity to ask questions. A common question asked was what his favorite part was from being aboard the International Space Station.
“While I loved the view and being able to float, what was most special was being a part of a team that did scientific experiments every day that could change humanity,” Fischer answered. “It was a great feeling to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Once the event was over, base members expressed how meaningful it was to meet with Fischer about his career and the opportunities he has had.
One of those Airmen happens to be an old college roommate of his.
“It was great to see him again,” said Col. Eric Nelson, Space and Missile Systems Center Global Positioning System transition director. “I am glad my family and I were able to participate and it was a great learning experience for the kids. Not only does his story inspire others, but it brings awareness of all the possibilities out there.”
Capt. Emanuel Chatters, National Reconnaissance Office launch operations director, echoed the sentiment.
“It was great to get an up close and personal experience from an astronaut of how it is living in space,” Chatters said. “As a launch operator, seeing his video of the SpaceX capsules dock to the International Space Station and knowing we tracked it to get on orbit was my favorite part. It is cool to see how our work has a big impact on the astronauts.”
While Fischer enjoys talking to everyone of all ages about his career, he said it is especially meaningful to him when speaking with elementary and middle school children.
“Their minds are most fertile for influence and inspiration,” he said. “That’s where I would like to make the biggest impact.”
During his time in Colorado Springs, Fischer visited Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, USAFA, Memorial Hospital, the Space Foundation Discovery Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, College of Engineering.
Fischer added how thankful he was to visit with the Schriever community.
“Schriever has a big impact on what we do every day in space,” Fischer said. “We want to honor the folks who do that and make sure they understand what a big part they play in this fantastic national laboratory that we have in the sky; that couldn’t exist without their efforts. It was an honor to be here and speak with the Masters of Space.”