Dreams Really Do Come True: My Shuttle Launch Experience

This past week I have had a whirlwind experience, I was so lucky to get to go to Florida for the final launch of the STS 134 Endeavour space shuttle. After months of waiting in anticipation the day had come, but only a few hours before countdown the launch was scrubbed due to technical difficulties. I was so sad as I had to go home the next day  to compete in my state History Day competition and did not know if I would get a chance to see the launch. If you have not heard about my project you can read about it here.

On our trip home the most amazing thing happened to me. My mom and I were just getting through security at the airport and as I was putting my shoes when my mom excitedly whispered to me “that’s him” I looked up in bewilderment as my mother told me that right behind us was the European Space Agency Astronaut, Luca Parmitano from Italy. My mom had met him the day before while  attending a special tweetup event at NASA that I could not go to because I was too young. We went over to greet him and he immediately looked at my mom and said “Is this your daughter, I am so glad to meet you Abigail, I hear you are going to be an astronaut someday” I told him I was his biggest fan and he said “no, no, I am your biggest fan.” He then told us he had an hour and would be happy to sit down and talk with me about what it takes to be an astronaut.

Honestly, this was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me and yes it’s more exciting than a shuttle launch. He gave me great advice and he even let me interview him for my History Day project. You can view the interview below. After we talked for 30 minutes he gave me his email address and told me to email him with questions anytime and if I ever wanted another interview he would try to make it happen!!! And with that I tell you dreams really do come true!


  1. Aliza Beverage says

    Hello! i am very new to this.. I saw you today at the history day competition and fell in love with your board! You don’t even know HOW jealous I am of you right now 😉 My BIGGGGEST dream EVER is to become an astronaut. I am sorry you had to miss the big shuttle launch of STS-134. I agree that it would be AMAZING to watch it live. Hopefully endeavor will successfully take-off soon!!!

    ~Astronaut geek 😀

  2. Sharon Raub says

    That is INCREDIBLE Abby!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You go, girl!!! 😀 I’m not sure if I’ve commented on here before but my dream is to be an astronaut as well! That would be soooo cool!!!! 😀 😀 😀 I love reading about your adventures and following you on Twitter and checking in on your blog. I thought of you when I got to meet Astronaut Charlie Duke (10th man on the moon, Apollo 16) the beginning of April!!! It was AMAZING because I have ALWAYS dreamed of meeting an astronaut – we wanted to go to JSC Houston and meet a Shuttle astronaut but it fell through – but NEVER in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be meeting and shaking the hand of one of the only TWELVE men to ever walk on the moon!!!! Abby, you are so right – dreams DO come true!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  3. Kristin Maija Peterson says

    Talk about being at the right place at the right time. It’s destiny that you become an astronaut. And the first woman to go to Mars. Keep up the good work!!!

  4. Goddessmychele says

    AWESOME!!! I am so proud of you for getting out there and following your dreams!!! You will be a rockin’ great astronaut one day…step by step is how it happened and this was one giant step for Abby-kind! Nana and I loved watching you!!!!

  5. Stephanie Burns says

    That is wonderful Abby! We are so proud of you! I shared the video with students in Alaska!!! You are a great inspiration.

  6. Max T. says

    Abby, it’s really cool that you have a dream to become an astronaut! We both definately have ambitious dreams and that’s cool so good job!

  7. Nearspaceman says

    excellent job Abby! it can’t have been easy to do an interview just  on the spot like that with no preparation 4 stars to you 🙂


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