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Astronaut from Lake of the Ozarks ready for Saturday launch to International Space Station

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 5:50 PM CST
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LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. (KY3) - Since arriving at Kennedy Space Center Sunday, it’s been a pretty busy 24 hours for the four NASA Astronauts getting ready for Saturday night’s launch to the International Space Station.

“In that time we’ve seen our rocket, we’ve seen our space vehicle ‘Resilience,’ and we’ve seen our space suits," said Astronaut Mike Hopkins. “For an astronaut, that’s considered to be a pretty good day.”

Hopkins, a native of Richland, Missouri, and graduate of School of the Osage, is the commander on the mission.

”When I was growing up at the Lake there, going to the School of the Osage, I never would have thought that someday I was going to be sitting here getting ready to launch to the International Space Station on a brand new vehicle," Hopkins said.

The mission is part of a partnership with NASA, and SpaceX, a private company owned by Elon Musk. They had their first successful manned launch earlier this year.

“I think it’s part of this opening the door, particularly right now of low Earth Orbit, to more and more space flight,” Hopkins said.

Prepping for space travel is no easy task. It’s about a nine hour flight to the ISS, and the crew will be up there for six months.

Coupling that prep with a current global pandemic makes it even harder.

“It’s put us, I guess, in isolation a little bit," Hopkins noted. “It’s actually from our families perspectives as well, they’ve been a little more restricted on their activities over the last six months, just because of the situation that we’re in.”

When these astronauts return to Earth, a new president will be in office; a vaccine for COVID-19 could be being distributed. But, one thing Hopkins hopes stays the same is people turning their dreams into reality.

”Someday, someone from Lake of the Ozarks is putting a foot on Mars," Hopkins said. “That would be pretty amazing.”

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