KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wonder what it’s like to be in space?
Retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin came to Kansas City, Missouri Thursday and visited with Ewing Marion Kauffman High School students about the view from the International Space Station and how he launched into his profession.
As you can imagine, we can only dream what the views from up in space are.
“The many different blue hues of the oceans are incredible and the experience is literally out of this world,” Melvin said. “Then you go around the planet, every 90 minutes, you’ll see a sunrise and a sunset, every 45 minutes.”
Melvin said becoming an astronaut wasn’t always the plan. He had a brief stint in the NFL before pivoting into a new arena, NASA.
“You know Life is about reinvention. You know, I pulled that hamstring at the Detroit Lions training camp pull the hamstring at the Dallas Cowboys training camp,” he said. “But I went back to graduate school and I finished my master’s and I went to work for NASA. So you know, you can pivot.”
During his 24-years with NASA, Melvin flew two missions to space.
While he’s unsure if he’ll go back to space, he’s excited about the growing interest in space travel and exploration.
“I think when you bring, you know, not just the government to the table, but you bring SpaceX with Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic with Richard Branson, and, you know, Blue Origin with Jeff Bezos,” he said. “I mean, they’re obviously billionaires and stuff. But they’re people that are working. They’re bringing new ideas and innovation to the mix. And so you get a better, I think, a better solution.”