A Heaven-sent Opportunity

Derry & Raphoe

L–R: Jon Jnr, Mayor of Donegal, Councillor John Campbell, Geoff Browne (Parishioner), Captain Jon A McBride

Many different people have visited Donegal Parish Church, down through the decades, but few have travelled as far as one of this week’s callers.

Former astronaut, Captain Jon A. McBride, boldly went where, we believe, no fellow space–traveller has gone before. The ex–U.S. naval officer – who piloted the space shuttle Challenger on its penultimate mission – visited Donegal Parish Church with his son, Jon Jnr. The men were keen to see their ancestors’ home county and were brought to the church by parishioner Geoff Browne, accompanied by the Mayor of Donegal, Councillor John Campbell.

Earlier in the day, the astronaut treated pupils at Abbey Vocational School to an unforgettable science lesson. During an inspirational presentation, Captain McBride – an ex–fighter pilot – gave the students an insight into his career with NASA; showed them photographs including some he had taken as Challenger orbited the earth; and explained to them the physical and mental demands of space travel.

The students enjoyed hearing how astronauts trained for zero gravity in an aircraft nicknamed “the Vomit Comet” – for obvious reasons. He urged his young audience to study hard …read more

Read the full article here: http://ireland.anglican.org/index.php?do=news&newsid=5627

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