WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — It was a dream that became a reality for NASA Astronaut Doug “Wheels” Wheelock, after he flew to space twice- in 2007, then in 2010.
On Tuesday, Wheelock stopped by Redbud Run Elementary School in Winchester to inspire the young generation to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Second grader Isley Hott is happy to be out of class, and was even happier to hear that more young women like herself will be able to make their mark in space.
NASA is planning to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the moon by 2024.
“Good because it’s not fair for boys to only be astronauts, that’s what they say,” she said. “Girls could be astronauts too.”
Even if science isn’t in the cards for everyone, Wheelock wants students to open their minds, for what he says is the future “Mars generation.”
“We’re going to find an ordinary kid from an ordinary school, and they’re going to be the first one stepping foot on Mars and it’s going to be a very exciting time,” said Wheelock.
Wheelock has accumulated more than 178 days in space.