“My name is Mike Mongo and I am an astronaut teacher!”
Why I say this whenever I meet a new young person, or address a group of students, or present before a room full of scientists and researchers, the opportunity to inspire is met and owned. Being an astronaut teacher means that I have the opportunity to wake up minds to the possibilities life holds—including following your dreams to live work and play in space. We need more teachers who take it upon ourselves to point out a future that includes just about anything you can dream or imagine and go for: Dream it, see it, be it.
As I see it, the most important thing is how the future is explained to kids. When I was a kid no one explained to me clearly that I would be looking back at myself over the course of my life, thinking, “Good decision! Bad decision!” What we do now with our present is a gift to our selves in the future.
Space has become achievable. Space is a career path. Here at the head of the 21st century, kids and students have the opportunity to become of humankind’s space future. By 2025 when today’s middle school students are out of college, space industry will be hiring like dot-com’s in the 90’s. The best and the brightest can go anywhere and as far as they want to. Our job is to point that out to them.
Many of us have grown up in a world that has yet to get space exploration right. But the good news? We are getting there.
Mike Mongo, 2013