It was a virtual homecoming of sorts for astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli on Sunday as she beamed into the Lido Beach Administration Building from space and answered questions from members of Camp Anchor, where she had volunteered as a teen.
Moghbeli, who graduated from Baldwin Senior High School in 2001, talked about the flight to space, her daily routine on the International Space Station, the unexpected joys of eating and drinking in zero gravity and the challenges of answering nature’s call.
“I’m super excited to be talking to you all,” she told the crowd that included current and former campers, as well as local officials. “I did want to show you I have my Camp Anchor shirt on.”
She pledged to come visit in person and return the shirt to them so they have a souvenir of her time in space.
The year-round Camp Anchor program serves 1,200 children and adults with special needs, officials said.
“It’s really special that someone who has gone this far in life has stayed in touch with her roots and wants to give back to something that clearly impacted her,” said Colin Hintze, senior camp director who volunteered with Moghbeli in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Hintze organized the video chat and read aloud the questions submitted by participants.
The crowd laughed as Moghbeli responded to questions about eating in space by drinking a bubble of water and catching candy-coated peanuts as they floated in the air.
“The best part about eating in space is you get to play with your food,” she joked.
Moghbeli’s impressive path to NASA includes receiving her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in California. She was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and trained as a naval aviator before being deployed to Afghanistan with the…
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