BALDWIN, Nassau County (WABC) -- An astronaut who grew up on Long Island came home to inspire local kids with a special visit.
NASA Astronaut Lt. Col. Jasmin Moghbeli returned to Baldwin to collaborate with students at the elementary school and high school she attended.
Moghbeli graduated from Baldwin High School in 2001 and most recently from the NASA Candidate program in early 2020.
With missions to the International Space Station Artemis, missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars in her future, Moghbeli hopes to inspire some of her fellow Bruins with this visit.
First, she stopped by Lenox Elementary School to take part in a Balloon Rocket Challenge with students.
It was at Lenox Elementary as a 6th grader where Moghbeli wrote a book report about another female astronaut and donned a space suit to present to her class.
Later, she visited Baldwin High School to work with teens on a plane design challenge followed by a Q&A session with the STEM/Engineering Academy students.
"From when I graduated from Lenox, it took 22 years before I got the call to become an astronaut," she said.
It then took six years for her chance to launch into space.
Moghbeli will take off in August as the commander on Crew 7, which is a mission to the International Space Station.
"We'll be up there doing science experiments on objects and our bodies to see how we react in space," she said.
And she told students on Monday that she will take a piece of Lenox with her when she goes.
"She did say that she is bringing some of Lenox love with her, she has a few items that she says she's going to carry with her into space," Lenox Principal Sheilah Jefferson-Isaac said.
Each student left an imprint on the heart of their favorite astronaut.
"I hope that I learn just like her and maybe I can be an astronaut and maybe I can reach my dreams like she did," said 5th-grader Ava Drinkwater-Louverture.
Moghbeli, a U.S. Marine Corps major, graduated from Baldwin High School and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering with information technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
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