Astronaut Delivering Commencement Speech From Space

UConn alum Rick Mastracchio will address his old school via space station

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 2, 2014 11:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – University of Connecticut alumnus Rick Mastracchio would have liked to deliver this year's graduation address to the school of engineering in person. But he'll be out of town on May 10—orbiting the globe on the International Space Station. So UConn has arranged for the 54-year-old astronaut to give the speech from space. His recorded address will be shown on the video boards at Gampel Pavilion to about 5,000 people. The 1982 alum recorded the speech over the weekend and beamed it back to NASA, which was converting the file to send to UConn.

"I remain a bit nervous," says the dean of the engineering school. "We have never tried anything like this before, and I know that the world will be watching us. So, while I'm excited, I still have to have my fingers crossed."

In this NASA file photo, astronaut Rick Mastracchio works to replace a pump in a spacesuit aboard the International Space Station.
In this NASA file photo, astronaut Rick Mastracchio works to replace a pump in a spacesuit aboard the International Space Station.   (AP Photo/NASA, File)
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