International Space Station crew request film by Grand Valley alumnus
Grand Valley alumnus David J. Ruck’s new film, “I Want to Be an Astronaut,” will have its “orbital premiere” aboard the International Space Station, with an audience of astronauts from around the world.
Developed over the past two years, the 38-minute documentary tells the story of Blair Mason, a young man striving to become an astronaut at a time when space exploration has moved out of the spotlight. Ruck delves into the specifics of what it takes to be an astronaut and what is being done to keep such dreams within the realm of possibility.
Blair elaborates on his vision of moving humanity beyond Earth.
Ruck sent the film’s trailer to Space Station Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio via Facebook. The astronaut was so intrigued, he asked if it was possible to view the entire film. Working with the Johnson Space Center to facilitate an upload, Ruck was gladly able to meet his request.
Ruck said he wanted to make a film that explored the human side of the space program and whether or not kids today still dream of being an astronaut. By following Mason from his role as leader of his high school robotics team, to his entry into the U.S. Naval Academy, Ruck discovered a very thoughtful student with a full vision of space exploration, including the political, social and technological issues.
The first American to orbit the Earth, Sen. John Glenn gives Blair pointers on the challenges of becoming an astronaut.
“This film also draws attention to the importance of the STEM education fields — science, technology, engineering and math,” said Ruck, “as they relate to our nation’s ability to remain on the cutting edge, and where we might be headed if we fail to inspire young people to pursue these fields.”
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