An astronaut and Iowa State University grad is back at his alma mater today, giving a lecture on “The International Flavor of the Space Station.” 44-year-old Clayton Anderson is a NASA mission specialist who recently trained in Russia at their equivalent of the Johnson Space Center. Anderson says he enjoys the challenge of learning that difficult language. Anderson says he’s not yet fluent in Russian but is “getting there.” He’s completed several programs at Star City, Russia, including water survival training in the Black Sea. Anderson now lives in Houston, is a Nebraska native and got his master’s degree in aerospace engineering from I-S-U in 1983. He joined the astronaut program in 1998 and has yet to get assigned to a spaceflight, but says he’s patient. Anderson says the crash of the shuttle Columbia in February has put everything on hold. NASA is tentatively hoping to return to manned space flight next fall, though Anderson says nothing’s yet firm. He says he’s “an extremely fortunate person” who’s “nothing special” but was “in the right place at the right time” to pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut. That’s part of the message he’s bringing to Iowa this week. He says he tells students to find out what they like to do and to pursue it with all their heart. The NASA bio says Anderson is assigned to the Enhanced Caution and Warning System development effort within the Space Shuttle Cockpit Avionics Upgrade Project. He also serves as a Space Station Capsule Communicator for Station missions, and as the Astronaut Office crew representative for the Station’s electrical power system. Anderson spoke at U-N-I on Tuesday and at the University of Iowa yesterday. Today’s lecture at I-S-U was at 2 P.M.
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