HOUSTON – On Thursday, two NASA astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut landed safely in Kazakhstan.
In one week, NASA astronaut Nick Hague will launch to the International Space Station.
You have heard about the launch experience from the astronaut’s perspective. In a rare opportunity provided by the University of Houston, you can hear about the launch experience from the family’s perspective.
"From our standpoint, it's a little scary,” said Lt. Col. Catie Hague.
Catie Hague is the commander of the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Houston and a professor of Air Force Sciences. She and her husband are parents to two sons, ages 7 and 11.
"The 11-year-old is very excited and the 7-year-old is a little nervous. But he definitely wants to see his dad float in space. So he thinks that's cool. He is definitely into superheroes," she said.
This superhero dad trained in Star City, Russia, before the scheduled launch Oct. 11 from Kazakhstan. It will be a deployment lasting more than six months. That’s something this military family knows well.
"The Air Force has probably prepared me better than anything. He's an Air Force officer, I'm an Air Force officer, we have both deployed around the world. We've traveled. We've moved a number of times," Catie Hague said.
But this time, her husband will be aboard an orbiting outpost in space nearly 250 miles from Earth. It’s a new experience both in space and here on Earth.
"I am supposed to be super-excited and amazed, really supportive. And I'm inside really terrified and scared, but I think it will be surreal," she said.
She said her family will stay in touch via Skype. She said her husband is taking several special items into orbit, including their wedding rings, a shirt from the University of Houston and some of their sons’ toys.