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Science teacher continues astronaut training

Nathaniel Curtis

Science teacher Amy McCormick models a $38,000 spacesuit for her students May 11.

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It seems as though West Shore’s science teacher Amy McCormick is bound to travel into space. The seventh-grade science teacher is now only a few months away from taking the third and final course in her training to becoming a full-fledged astronaut, yet this final course came as a surprise, even to McCormick.

“I didn’t apply for this course; [Teachers in Space] called me and asked me to do this, so I guess they must have liked me,” McCormick said. This summer she and a partner will travel to California where they will build Masten Space Systems, reusable launch systems which reduce fuel use and costs for launches. These systems will be ready to launch in the fall of 2012 in the Mojave Dessert. From there McCormick will fly to Philadelphia where she will physically and mentally train. There she will learn about rocketry, acceleration and flight as well as participate in the oxygen chamber, simulators and the human centrifuge known as the PHOENIX.

McCormick seems both excited and prepared.

“I’m nervous. I don’t think I’ll be a rock, but I think I can handle it,” she said. After her courses and training, McCormick will be provided with photographs, videos and even a flight suit.

McCormick and her partner will be only the third and fourth teachers in the United States to have completed all three courses.

If successful, McCormick won’t be the first Brevard Public Schools teacher to travel into space. Former Melbourne High School science Joe Acaba arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

By Konur Oyman

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Science teacher continues astronaut training