News Column

Military Families Meet Navy SEAL Astronaut at Exhibit

July 15, 2014

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Black, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs

Story Number: NNS140715-26

Release Date: 7/15/2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Black, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A Navy SEAL who is also a NASA astronaut met with military families at a multimedia mobile exhibit called "Driven to Explore," July 14.

Capt. Chris Cassidy of York, Maine, the second SEAL launched into space, met with local military children at Murphy Canyon Chapel in San Diego. Cassidy talked with Sailors and their families about his experience aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Cassidy participated in two space missions to the ISS, and has spent a total of about six months in space.

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1993, Cassidy completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif., and was the honor graduate of BUD/S Class 192. Cassidy spent more than 10 years with the SEAL Teams. He was a platoon commander at SEAL Team 3 in Coronado, and deployed to Afghanistan several times. Cassidy was awarded two Bronze Stars with Combat 'V' and a Presidential Unit Citation for missions with the Army's10th Mountain Division on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

At the Murphy Canyon Chapel, Cassidy led physical exercises with children who came to meet him during the "Train like an Astronaut" event, signed autographs and took group photos before talking about his experience in space.

When asked about going to the moon, he said he would love the opportunity, and to test the Orion spacecraft there before they take it to Mars or an asteroid.

Cassidy is still on active duty status in the Navy while assigned to NASA, and reflected on the opportunities the military has afforded him.

"One of the main reasons I am able to go to space is because of the Navy," he said. "I feel strongly that I wouldn't have been selected if it wasn't for all my experience gained while I was in the Navy. In the final week of SEAL training, if you start at the beginning thinking about the end of the week, you are never going to make it. The key to surviving is dividing the week into smaller intervals - meal to meal. You go from breakfast to lunch, and then lunch to dinner. Perseverance and hard work is rewarded with some kind of opportunity."

Approximately 180 parents and children showed up to the event, exploring the mobile exhibit, where they were able to touch a moon rock, put on astronaut gloves and helmets, and feel the vibrations of a shuttle launch.

"I want to be an astronaut and see all the stars and planets," said one 8-year-old. "It was fun, and I loved it, and someday I want to fly a spaceship." Cassidy is hopeful that he is a small part of inspiring the kids he talked to today to be the astronauts leading a mission to Mars or beyond in the future.

"I love it! I feel extremely privileged that I am able to positively influence kids," said Cassidy. "Occasionally I get to go to space and still be on active duty in the Navy."

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Defense Department Documents & Publications

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters