Former NASA astronaut speaks to Fresno County students

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- For many of us, flying into outer space is something we've only seen on TV and in movies. On Friday, dozens of Fresno County students heard from a former NASA astronaut.

It's been awhile since former astronaut Col. Mike Mullane was in outer space, but he can still make out the sights from afar. "You see the black of space, the curve of the blue Earth, the ocean, the white of the clouds on it; it is so incredibly beautiful," he said.

Mullane spoke to students from Houghton-Kearney School in Central Unified about his three missions onboard the shuttles Discovery and Atlantis. There were even some aspiring astronauts in the crowd that held onto his every word. "When I was little, I always kind of dreamed of meeting the man and going on the moon. I always thought that would be one of the best things to do," said student Carson Mehling.

The former astronaut shared funny stories about what it feels like to be in space. "Weightlessness is fun most of the time, but there are times you wish you weren't weightless, like using the toilet. I guarantee you'd like to snap your fingers and have gravity for functions like that," said Mullane.

Students were amazed at how different life is in space. "That you get to see what they eat and how they live, and what happens if you throw up and keep throwing up and have to get a shot," said student Giulia Price.

But he also shared key advice on how they can become successful and told them to countdown to a dream. "You want to make sure you're doing your best always, it's going to count, you just don't know when because we can't see our futures," said Mullane.

Students listened as Mullane inspired this next generation with a lifetime of adventures. Mullane hopes these students will follow their dreams, but also to pursue science-related careers -- something that's important for our future here on Earth and in outer space.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.