NEW CASTLE — Lt. Col. Andrew Morgan at all times dreamed about going to space. In July 2019, his dream turns into actuality.
Morgan, who has at all times known as New Castle dwelling due to deep household ties in the group regardless of by no means having lived there, can be residing and dealing on the International Space Station, orbiting 245 miles above the Earth’s floor, as a part of a seven-month mission.
He was chosen by NASA to develop into an astronaut in 2013, with the expectation of going to space after spending shut to a decade coaching. Morgan achieved a space mission in six years.
“It is a big relief, but also extremely exciting,” Morgan mentioned of going to space. “When my class was selected five years ago, we were told it could be eight to 10 years before we would go to space. I will have flown to space within six years, exceeding expectations. Flying earlier is way better than flying later.”
Morgan is scheduled to launch on Soyuz 59S in the summer time of 2019 and can function a flight engineer for Expeditions 60 and 61.
He was humbled upon studying he could be representing his nation in space.
“However I am serving in space, I do it as a real honor,” Morgan mentioned. “NASA has selected us to do this on behalf of the country and the planet. ISS is an international effort. It is the most magnificent example of international cooperation.”
Morgan is aware of the character of the experiments he’ll participate in aboard the space station, and his medical background suits completely into among the tasks.
“I don’t know exactly, but I know in general,” Morgan mentioned. “There are at all times experiments going on on board. It is a nationwide laboratory that’s continually turning all forms of science experiments – physics and biomedical make up the best proportion.
“Biomedical science I can communicate to extra precisely due to my medical background. We are the topics of the experiments, and we have an interest in how crops and animals reply to micro gravity over an extended time frame. We need to discover space and we want to study extra about how our physique reacts to micro gravity.”
While Morgan won’t ever cease coaching for missions, he’s working to high-quality tune expertise that can be important throughout his time aboard the station, together with studying a overseas language.
“There could be very little I’m coaching in that I did not have already got a basis in throughout my preliminary candidate coaching,” Morgan said. “Our primary , we examine the Russian language as English and Russian are essentially the most spoken languages on the International Space Station. We do robotics coaching as we’ll work to seize visiting automobiles, assist of space walks, which is one other vital talent I’ll proceed to hone.”
While all of the coaching requires robust focus, none extra so than spacewalking.
“Space walks are very harmful and a vital piece of labor we do due to repairs that may solely be completed by astronauts,” Morgan said. “We examine the methods of the space station and the way to reply in emergencies.”
“I’m studying to stay in space, how to train, how to keep a meals provide and steering on board,” Morgan said. “There are lots of issues we have now to keep in mind.”
First step into new frontier
The single-most fun facet of being on the International Space Station for Morgan is that first space stroll.
“The pinnacle second is after we exit, particularly that first time,” Morgan said. “When I’m going out of the airlock and see Earth under me, that’s going to be breathtaking.
“I think of all the things I will do in space, that is going to be the most demanding, physically and mentally. There are multiple space walks planned. I may do several. I am actively training with one of my crewmates who will be on board with me, who is a veteran Italian astronaut.”
Aboard the International Space Station, the gravity is considerably lower than that on Earth. NASA has a novel approach for astronauts to practice for space walks.
“One of the first methods we practice for space walks, we have now a really giant indoor pool, 40 toes deep,” Morgan said. “It is a impartial bouyancy laboratory with mock-up items of the International Space Station.
“We placed on the space swimsuit, we pressurize it, and it creates the phantasm of micro gravity. We are supported by a staff of divers that assist maintain the duties to make it as actual as potential and to preserve us protected.”
Space flight is a side of life few get to expertise, and Morgan is prepared to savor it.
“I’m trying ahead to simply having a once-in-a-lifetime, seven-month expertise with some nice crewmates the place we have now skilled collectively, rely on one another and rely on for our lives,” Morgan mentioned.
But, there may be one alternative Morgan just isn’t going to let slip by.
“There is a window trying down on Earth, and we’re doing an orbit each hour and a half, and I’m trying ahead to having the ability to look over all the planet,” Morgan said. “I’m undoubtedly trying ahead to doing that space stroll. I’ve at all times relished a problem, and this is likely one of the best I’ve ever confronted.”
While Morgan is in space, he hopes he gathers a big following from western Pennsylvania on social media, particularly Twitter, the place it has develop into customized that astronauts share photos of Earth from their excessive-arching perch in the ambiance.
“I do anticipate to talk a few of my photos and ideas on social media,” Morgan said. “I’d undoubtedly like to have a following from western Pennsylvania and construct curiosity in that a part of the nation.
“What is exclusive is that I can be launching on a Russian automobile and there’s a good probability we may see among the early take a look at flights of the subsequent U.S automobiles from SpaceX and Boeing’s CST starliner. Both may very well be making visits to the International Space Station, in order that can be pretty historic.
“Those flights can be among the first missions to have launched from U.S. soil for the reason that space shuttle was retired in 2011.”
Morgan is the son of Dr. Richard and Janice Morgan, who stay in Neshannock Township and are graduates of Neshannock High School. The couple returned to New Castle after Richard served 24 years in the navy.
“When my Dad was in the Air Force, New Castle was dwelling,” Morgan said. “There is the place I went to go to my grandparents. I’ve 4 kids of my very own. New Castle is their dwelling. They are coming dwelling this summer time to go to my mother and father. I’ve at all times considered New Castle as dwelling.”
He is the grandson of Warren Morgan and Jeremiah Maher, who additionally served their nation. In reality, Andrew Morgan is the primary Army doctor to be chosen as an astronaut. His brother, Ben, served in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“New Castle is particular for us,” Morgan said. “My kids can be there this summer time, and can doubtless be at Pearson Park fireworks on July four.
“I never lived there, never went to school there, but it is home to me.”
One factor about Morgan’s love for New Castle is true, subsequent summer time he’ll get to peer down on the place he calls dwelling from a vantage level few will ever expertise.