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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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NASA goes “Above and Beyond”

Above+and+Beyond
Photo by Courtesy
Above and Beyond

Emmy award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy and former astronaut Col. Michael E. Fossum visited Texas A&M in light of NASA’s 60th anniversary.
On October 3, segments of Kennedy’s film “Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow” were shown at the The Bush School of Government and Public Service. The full version of the film is set to premiere on October 13 on the Discovery Channel.
The film emphasizes the tremendous impact NASA has had on the world, as well as the bright future of the program. Fossum and Kennedy took part in a moderated discussion in between the segments of the film being shown.
Bush Foundation senior director of programming and communications Christi Voelkel said “Above and Beyond” captures much of the work NASA has accomplished over the last 60 years.
“Mrs. Kennedy has often said that her uncle, President Kennedy, had the foresight to see the importance of NASA and their work,” Voelkel said. “We thank Mrs. Kennedy for carrying that torch forward for future generations.”
In her previous discussions regarding the film, Kennedy explained her desire for producing this type of film.
“I’ve always admired the pioneering work done by NASA over its first six decades,” Kennedy said. “As we move into a new era of research and exploration, NASA’s extraordinary wealth of intelligence and limitless curiosity will fuel its work to better understand our Earth and the universe.”
Before becoming the chief operating officer of Texas A&M Galveston, Fossum was chosen to be an astronaut in 1998 and has seen NASA evolve first-hand. Fossum said his interest in the moon dates back to his childhood.
“At some point I went in the backyard, looked up at the moon and said, ‘Me, too,’” Fossum said.
Margot Bledsoe, a greeter at the George Bush Library, chose to attend the film showing because of an interest in the subject of the film.
“The events here are always good,” Bledsoe said. “[In life] if you can’t enjoy yourself, don’t do it.”
The upcoming film includes many aspects ranging from extraordinary photographs of galaxies to past accomplishments by NASA and discusses the future endeavors NASA is currently taking on, such as the James Webb Space Telescope. This new telescope will enable NASA to look further into space and detect the composition of planet atmospheres.
Kennedy and Fossum took part in discussions about NASA and its overall increasing importance within the world today. The showing of the film ended with a personalized video message from Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, who is currently aboard the International Space Station.

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