Former Astronauts Making the Rounds at Tulsa Schools This Week

Jan 30, 2018

Astronaut Paul Lockhart, who flew on the space shuttle Endeavour, is one of two former astronauts in Tulsa this week.
Credit NASA

Flight Night Space Week has brought former astronauts to Tulsa.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Duane Carey is one of two former making the rounds at Tulsa schools and events to inspire kids.

"There’s a lot of fun things to do out there in life, but you don’t get to do these fun things unless you put in a little bit of hard work," Carey said. "And I share my personal story with them and the fun of being in space, and we talk about the different things that they might like to do as they grow older."

Carey and Col. Paul Lockhart have logged more than a month in space between them. Carey said he looks forward to each question and answer session after their presentation about space.

"I just can’t believe some of the great questions the kids come up with, and it’s so flattering … that I can actually inspire them to ask some of these really difficult and thoughtful questions," Carey said. "That’s my favorite part, because when a kid asks a good question, then it shows she’s been thinking. Makes me feel really good."

Carey has talked to kids in the U.S., Africa and the Middle East about space and their future careers. Carey said he sees something special here.

"Based on what I see all over the world, I would predict a very bright future for Tulsa, and I wouldn’t be surprised in 20 years — this town’s going to be a very different, spectacular place because of the groundwork that we’re laying for the future. And you don’t see that in every town," Carey said.

The astronauts will be at a free event at Hardesty Arts Center, 101 E Archer St., Tuesday at 6 p.m. Advance registration is required.