ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), along with a distinguished visitor from NASA, answered a long-distance phone call from the International Space Station (ISS), Jan. 26.
NASA astronauts Navy Cmdr. Reid Wiseman, Air Force Col. Eric Boe, U.S. Marine Corps Col. Randy Bresnik, Serena Aunon, Michael Barratt, along with NASA flight surgeons Air Force Maj. Anil Menon and Dr. Stephen Hart, visited TR for a taste of life aboard an aircraft carrier and a chance to meet her Sailors. NASA flight director Gregory Whitney, and NASA military liaison Judy O'Connor also joined the group visiting TR.
"It's so great to be on an aircraft carrier again," said Wiseman. "As soon as I stepped onboard I could feel the energy of the ship and her crew. It's amazing."
During their tour, the NASA guests joined TR Sailors for a video teleconference (VTC) with Navy Capt. Barry "Butch" Wilmore, a NASA astronaut, aboard the International Space Station. Sailors asked Wilmore, currently on a five-month trip aboard ISS, questions about life in space.
"It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life," said Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anna Van Nuys, a native of Akron, Ohio. "You don't get chances to talk to the International Space Station very often, so it's a memory I'll always cherish."
The most prevalent question was how he had become an astronaut.
"My training started when I joined the Navy. Thanks to the Navy I had the opportunity to do this," said Wilmore, gesturing to the space station around him."From TR, we thank [Capt. Wilmore] for taking the time to answer our Sailors' questions," said Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of TR. "We are all incredibly proud of all of the work you and NASA are doing, especially you and how well you represent the Navy."
In the evening, Sailors packed into TR's aft mess decks as each member of NASA took a turn to discuss not only their jobs, but what life in space is like. Afterward, Sailors lined up to take pictures with the astronauts and ask them questions. Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Allison Brilla, a native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, was one Sailor lucky enough to meet the NASA team and took full advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"It was amazing — the best day of my life," said Brilla. "I've always wanted to meet an astronaut since I was in the Young Astronomers Club when I was younger. It was a stellar opportunity."
TR is underway participating in composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which tests the strike group's ability to effectively react to real-world scenarios and perform as an integrated unit.
TRCSG is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12 staff, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 , the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the DESRON 2 ships; guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99).
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