San Diego Astronaut Goes to Space for the First Time

A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jessica Meir, makes her dream come true with NASA, embarking on her first space trip on a six-month mission at the International Space Station.

Meir from the age of five knew what she wanted to be when she grew up and this was reflected in a drawing with a picture of an astronaut on the moon with an American flag.

It was until Wednesday from Kazakhstan at 6:57 that the wait for Meir ended.

Meir and two other companions, the Russian Oleg Skripochka and the Emirati Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, undertook their trip where they will spend six hours in the spacecraft, Soyuz MS-15, before arriving at ISS.

During the launch of the rocket, friends and family of Meir were supporting her from the Oceanography Institute at UCSD, where she studies diving philosophy.

Paul Ponganis, PhD advisor, said he is proud of his student who is fulfilling her dream.

“When I met her, I knew she would become an astronaut since it was one of her main goals in her life,” Ponganis said.

“For me, each of my students is like my academic children and she is essentially one of my daughters, that is why I am proud that she has succeeded,” he added.

Minutes after the ship was launched towards its destination, it was traveling at 13,500 miles. The Zvezda services module will allow astronauts to communicate with ISS, to later meet with six other colleagues.

The team sent to space will conduct experiments within a microgravity laboratory, focusing on biology, biotechnology, physical science and terrestrial science. Meir will have the opportunity to use the biology lessons learned at UCSD.

Meir received her PhD in marine biology in San Diego, studied biology at Duke University and also studied at the International Space University in France.

Before achieving her goal, Meir worked for three years at NASA‘s Johnson Space Center, investigating the psychological changes of humans in space.

For the first time, Meir said that now it will be her who they study.

Source: Telemundo20