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Astronaut lands in Gering schools
October 01, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Courtesy photo - Joining Lt. Col. Nick Hague are 1st row: Wyatt Nelson, Natalia Gomez, Megan Kicken, Emily Hutton, reanna Harpold; 2nd row: Alec Sibal, Brasen Hackert, Carter Flowers; 3rd Row: Carlos Cruz, Aydin Cervantes, Tommy Nelson 4th row: Aliyah Flores, Isabelle Castaneda, Bianca Peterson, Maddie Lee; 5th row: Nickie Todd, Hannah Walker; 6th row: Jacob Grover, Zayden Sharp-Druckenmiller, Matias Garza, Sergio Venzor. 7th Row: teacher Jennifer Schwartz, Dylan Hammack, and Jayten Rice.

It’s a rare occurrence to have a full-blown astronaut visit your school, but Gering got a visit last Thursday and Friday from Nick Hague, a member of NASA’s 21st astronaut class.

Air Force Lt. Col. Hague is the son of former Gering Public Schools superintendent Don Hague and Bev Hague, an educator in Gering schools.

Hague is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in Astronautical Engineering. He earned a master’s in Astronautical and Aeronautical Engineering from the MIT. He is a Distinguished Graduate, and top flight test engineer in the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School Class.

NASA receives thousands of requests annually for astronaut visits. Few can be accommodated because of the agency’s support of the International Space Station and other projects.

Hague kept a busy schedule for his two-day stay, visiting the high school and freshman academy, as well as students at Northfield, Geil, Lincoln and Cedar Canyon Elementaries.

One stop was at Bret Maser’s high school physics class. “The kids are still talking about it,” Maser said. “He discussed a lot of topics with them, including gravity theory and had a question and answer session. In the future when we discuss more about gravity, my teaching will benefit when I refer back to what they learned last week.”

Hague was one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class in 2013.

He completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015.
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