Astronaut skypes with Huntington students

Published: Apr. 16, 2015 at 9:55 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2015 at 10:48 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A room full of Huntington students got an out of this world experience.

Huntington Elementary students were given a special Skype session with former NASA astronaut Don Thomas. Thomas flew in four space flights, with the first one being STS-65.

Thomas took time to explain to the children how they would eat and drink in space. Thomas also showed maps of the East Texas area that were taken from outer space.

The students won the experience after they previously attended a special program featuring Janet's Planet.

Thomas said he has done thousands of these talks with students around the world but always loves to talk with children in East Texas.

"The East Texas area is so good to us," Thomas said. "When Columbia crashed over the area, Lufkin and the county were so good to us."

Thomas also said he hopes his messages inspire the next generation of space travelers.

"In the next 25 to 30 years, NASA is hoping to send astronauts to Mars," Thomas said. "I'm too old to go to Mars. In 30 years I will be 90, but our students in the classroom today will be the perfect age to be these astronauts."

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