By Allan Jamail
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – Houston, Texas — At the Galena Park School District’s Administration Building, astronauts gathered from the United States, France, Germany and Hungary for breakfast before departing to visit 12 schools in the district.
Participating astronauts were: Jean Loup Chretien (accompanied by wife Florence) (France), Gerhard Thiele (Germany), Tim Kopra & Farkas Bertalan (Hungary), and Bruce Melnick & Mike Foreman (USA).
NC Star writer Allan Jamail joined the international group and school officials to document the historical event as they visited the schools.
“It was very rewarding to see the excitement and high level of interest from the students aging from kindergarten to middle school teenagers, it was 8 hours well spent,” Jamail said. “Students were allowed to ask questions. From them I learned bananas are a forbidden fruit to take into space, the aroma from it turns everything such as all other foods, cloths, paperwork, etc., into the smell of bananas. Instead of bread, only tortillas are allowed because bread produces crumbs to freely float inside the space craft capsule. I even learned how they use the restroom. The kids asked and so the astronauts told them how to do #1 and #2 in a gravity free environment.”
Each year the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) has five days of public programs celebrating the past, present and future of human space exploration with 125 flown astronauts and cosmonauts from up to 38 nations, five international regions: USA, Russia, Asia, Europe and “at large” including Canada participating.