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    USASOC to Astronaut Morgan


    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Connor | Dr. (Col.) Andrew Morgan on the International Space Station answering questions from...... read more read more

    FORT BRAGG, NC--The auditorium in Col. Arron Bank Hall has seen countless people shuffle to an empty seat for ceremonies, and lectures but rarely, to ask an astronaut a question.

    On March 12th, over 250 participants eagerly stood in line waiting to register for a chance to speak to Dr. (Col.) Andrew Morgan, a 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) alum who is currently aboard the International Space Station. As they waited, children looked up at their parents with smiles on their faces, asking, "Is it true? Do I really get to see a real-life astronaut today?"

    As the crowd made their way to the seats, cheerful screams and laughter started filling Aaron Bank Hall. The roar of the room was because of the equipment test which showed Astronaut Dr. Morgan on screen spinning and doing backflips as he floated around the camera. At the time Dr. Morgan was not able to hear or see the children cheering for him, but if the windows were able to open on the ISS, there was a good chance Dr. Morgan could.

    To open the event, Col. Mark Ray, USASOC's Human's Performance and Wellness Director, did a brief introduction of Dr. (Col.) Andrew Morgan and was only able to cover a little of Dr. Morgan's accomplishments of his path becoming an Astronaut, because time was limited.

    As the clock struck four o'clock (EST) the radio check from Col. Ray to Dr. Morgan went through, "earth to Dr. Morgan…. earth to Dr. Morgan," and the auditorium echoed with the sound of applause from the participants.

    Dr. Morgan unlocked the world of wonder for the families of USASOC before he opened the floor to the children for questions and answers, by twirling and floating around as young kids might imagine doing when thinking of being an astronaut.

    Knowing there was only a limited time, Dr. Morgan was ready to answer some questions from children throughout the USASOC and subordinate commands who were asked to come up with questions they'd ask an astronaut if given the chance.

    Twenty of those questions were chosen and the corresponding children, ranging from first through 12th grade, had the opportunity for the once in a lifetime chance.

    "What does it feel like when you're in a rocketing from Earth to Space?" asked Kennedy, one of the children from USASOC families who had the opportunity to ask questions to Dr. Andrew Morgan as he orbits the Earth aboard the International Space Station. The other 250 attendees stared at the screen intently for his response: "We feel the force on our chests," Dr. Morgan responded. "Three to four times my body weight pressing on my chest as we accelerate, eventually we get to orbit, and the engine shuts off and instantaneously, you're weightless."

    The excitement of the children in the room was hard to miss. It was visible by the tapping of feet or the leaning in to whisper excitedly in their parent's ear. Winston, another child in attendance, sprung to his feet as the microphone touched his hand and wasted no time asking his question, "What experiments are you conducting? Any on yourself?" With a laugh, Dr. Morgan replied, "Over the course of my time up here the International Space Station we will be conducting somewhere between 250 to 300 experiments. Some of those are medical experiments. We collect all sorts of samples to see how our bodies change over the course of our time up here."

    The 20-minute connection with the space station was a first for USASOC. The event is one of many conducted by USASOC Family programs. The goal of Family Programs is to enrich the lives of Soldiers and their Families through events like the NASA question and answers, teen summits and college prep conferences.

    Col. Morgan was a battalion medic while serving in 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). Dr. Andrew "Drew" Morgan was selected by NASA in 2013. Dr. Morgan is an emergency physician in the U.S. Army with sub-specialty certification in primary care sports medicine. Before his selection to NASA's 21st group of astronauts, Dr. Morgan served in elite special operations units worldwide. He is married with four children and considers New Castle, PA his hometown. He is currently serving aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer for Expedition 60, 61 and 62.



    Date Taken: 03.12.2020
    Date Posted: 03.18.2020 13:29
    Story ID: 365439
    Location: FAYETTEVILLE, NC, US 

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