Astronaut speaks on campus

By Belle Leininger

[email protected]

A UK alumnus who has been on six space missions shared his secrets for success at the UK College of Engineering’s National Engineers Week.

Story Musgrave’s lecture, “Design a Life for Yourself: One Little Step at a Time,” emphasized the importance of following your passions in life and taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented.

He spoke in the Student Center at noon on Thursday.

“You don’t know what life is going to deal you, you get on the playing field and you get ready,” Musgrave said.

Musgrave worked on a farm as a young boy, which fostered his love for mechanics. He became a self-proclaimed grease monkey and followed this passion to the Marine Corps.

Although Musgrave never finished high school, he always had an interest in learning. After his time as a marine mechanic he decided that he needed to get an education and Syracuse University allowed him to attend even without a high school diploma.

Musgrave then continued his education at UCLA, Columbia and UK, among other universities.

“It’s a huge privilege to be taught, to be a student,” Musgrave said.

While at UK, Musgrave became aware of openings with NASA and decided that was where he wanted to be. Shortly after, he joined the U.S. Air Force in order to receive his wings and be able to preform his job efficiently.

“I (didn’t) just want to go supersonic and fly, I want(ed) to learn something,” Musgrave said.

At NASA, Musgrave was a member of the crew responsible for the Hubble Space Telescope, and was in charge of writing down the procedures and tools needed in case problems arose.

When the telescope needed to be repaired, Musgrave was the one who was responsible. In the process of training to go to space to repair the telescope, Musgrave got frostbite in eight of his fingers but didn’t let that slow him down, saying, “I’ll get the job done.”

Musgrave always found a way to do what was necessary to the best of his abilities. He said failure was never part of his vocabulary because he did everything he could to keep moving forward and succeed at the task ahead of him.

“Whatever you do in life, focus and concentrate on the moment,” Musgrave advised.

Musgrave is now a landscape architect and is still operating and maintaining the same machines from when he was younger.

“Fun is important — if you’re not having fun, get a different life,” Musgrave said.

Greg Walden, a mechanical engineering senior, attended the lecture because he is currently working towards certification in aerospace engineering.

Walden said the talk left him hopeful and secure in the thought that as long as he did the best he could, anything was possible.