The sky is the limit

The sky is the limit

By Allyson Fox

NASA astronaut Rick Linnehan, D.V.M., spoke to students Jan. 23 at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine./Photo by Jesse S. Jones

On Jan. 23, NASA astronaut Richard Linnehan, D.V.M., spoke to students at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine about his experiences in space and where the NASA program is heading. During his talk, sponsored by the UF Aquatic Animal Health Program, Linnehan stressed to the students how far they can take their veterinary degrees.

“The sky is the limit,” Linnehan said. “Turn your profession into something.” Linnehan shared his space experiences with the audience, showing photos taken from space of the Grand Canyon, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii and Cape Cod, to name a few. He also discussed the training, what it’s like to wear a space suit, sleep in space, eat in space and be outside the spaceship. Getting out of a space suit is an involved process that takes three-and-a-half hours, but Linnehan said the experience is worth it.

“Once outside, it’s pretty surreal,” he said. “You’re just floating.”

However, Linnehan didn’t ignore that the space program is at a low point right now. NASA is in the process of changing and finding new missions. Currently, the technology needs improvement, he said. Despite these challenges, Linnehan says humans still have much to learn from exploring the final frontier.

“(Exploring) is part of what we do as a species,” Linnehan said. “Someday we will be vacationing on the moon.”