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The North Bend Eagle


Astronaut Anderson visiting NBC

Press Release
Posted 5/9/10

NORTH BEND- Nebraska Astronaut Clayton Anderson is landing in the small town of North Bend, a town of a little over 1,200 people, on Tuesday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m. This small town on the northern most bend of the Platte River in Dodge County is buzzing with excitement about this Nebraska hero’s appearance. Anderson will share with the 475 members of the NBC student body his dream of becoming an astronaut and the thrills of his two flights to the International Space Station.

Astronaut Anderson, a member of the STS-131 crew, returned from his second trip to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on April 20. During the 15-day journey, the crew traveled more than 6.2 million miles. They delivered science racks, new crew sleeping quarters, equipment and supplies. Anderson performed three spacewalks during the mission. In 2007, he spent a five-month tour of duty working aboard the International Space Station. Anderson will share his video and pictures from the spaceflight. This presentation is open to the public.

Deborah Andrews, one of North Bend’s kindergarten teachers, arranged the astronaut’s visit as a way of inspiring her class to “make big dreams” and “work hard for them!” Dreaming big leads to great things. No one can better exemplify this ideal than Nebraska Astronaut Clayton Anderson.

In the fall of 2007, during Anderson's five-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station, Andrews invited Clayton’s mother, Alice, to be the Letter “A” Everyday Hero for her classroom of kindergartners. Nothing better than Alice Anderson, an Astronaut’s mother, to teach her class of kindergartners about the letter “A” and the sound it stands for. Unfortunately, due to failing health Mrs. Anderson was unable to keep her planned appearance with Andrews’ students. Alice suggested to Andrews that she should really work at getting her son the astronaut to come to North Bend. Taking this suggestion to heart in November of 2007, Andrews submitted an astronaut appearance request for Clayton Anderson to come to NBE, but that spring her application was denied due to an overwhelming number of requests for Clayton.

After hearing about Anderson’s second mission to the Space Station scheduled for March 2010, Andrews decided to make another application. This time, she submitted her NASA application during the 2009 summer in hopes that her request would be on the top of the pile rather than the bottom. Andrews’ chances of getting Anderson to North Bend looked dim when his second mission was delayed until April. During March and April numerous calls were made to NASA to see if North Bend still had a chance to host this Nebraska hero. On Monday, May 5th, the news came that all the details were falling in place and that Clayton Anderson would be speaking to the students of North Bend Central Public Schools. Now on May 11th, Andrews’ one last goal before retiring on May 20th after 34 years of teaching in NB will be accomplished.

The North Bend Area Community Foundation is helping to support this endeavor. The May 11th presentation at NBC is open to the public.

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