Retired NASA engineer talks with students at Pendleton UAS Test - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Retired NASA engineer talks with students at Pendleton UAS Test Range

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PENDLETON, OR - Inspiring local students - that's what a former NASA engineer was doing in Pendleton today.

150 STEM and robotics students were at the presentation, learning about NASA's past, present, and future.

Dr. Norman Chaffee is a retired NASA engineer. He worked at the Johnson Space Center in Texas from 1962 to 1988. One of his most notable jobs was his involvement with the Apollo program.

"I still remember in detail the mission sequences and things that's happened with each of the stages and the space craft," Dr. Chaffee said.

And now, he's journeyed halfway across the country, to Pendleton, Oregon to talk with local STEM and robotics students.

"I absolutely love talking to teachers and kids and showing them the wonderful things they've got in front of them if they follow the space business," he explained.

Future astronaut, chemical engineer, graphic design artist...you name it. Today's presentation showed students that the opportunities are infinite when it comes to getting a job with NASA.

"I thought it's a lot of opportunities for me, for myself, because I always wanted to be a mechanical engineer, a physicist, whatever," said Umatilla High School Freshman, Anthony Campos. "And there's a lot of possibilities for other people, not just with those."

Umatilla has one of he highest percentages of students in the country building robotics, making these middle and high school kids the perfect audience.

"All of these kids, it's going to take all of us and it will be not only from the United States; it will be from China, it will be from India, it will be from Russia, it will be from South Africa, from South America. We will not go to the moon and Mars as Americans. We will and have to go as the human race."

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