ExPats: From Apalachin to Outer Space
Updated: Apr 5, 2021
“Life choices made me competitive” says Apalachin native and NASA Astronaut Doug Hurley.
Southern Tier Life spoke with Doug Hurley about growing up in Apalachin and attending Owego Free Academy. Doug remembers as a Junior at Owego Free Academy meeting a Navy Recruiter and discussing ROTC scholarships. He said this was his “eureka” moment as high school student trying to figure out what is next. By this time Doug was already fascinated with flying and remembers seeing a few of the Space Shuttle launches. This encounter led him to graduate from Owego Free Academy in 1984 and pursue a degree in Civil Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans and being part of ROTC led to him being a test pilot in the US Marine Corp.
Like most people, teachers and coaches are the most influential people in a student’s life. Doug spoke about the influences three teachers had on him. Robin Seward along with Ben and Linda Frisbee had an impact on him while in school. Doug also mentioned that Bob Fenton, baseball coach and Jim Angel, soccer coach, played a role in helping him being competitive in a team environment. “It helped me greatly being a team captain in the military, just that team aspect paid huge dividends in my military career and in general” said Hurley. Doug goes on to say, “Those people don’t realize the influences they have on getting you to work as team is hugely beneficial to you later life.”
Hurley was selected as an astronaut in 2000. A veteran of three spaceflights, he was the pilot on STS‐127 and STS‐135 and Spacecraft Commander on the first crewed test flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, the Demo-2 Mission, during which he also served as a Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 63. (read full bio)
Hurley’s last mission in space, as part of the SpaceX Crew, had him in space for 64 days. This longer flight allowed him to soak up being in space. While his mission wasn’t any less busy than his previous two missions, “The ability to be up there for a while and experience life on the space station and weekends in space were pretty special” said Hurley.
The Future of Space
Doug shares his thoughts on the future of space travel and where he sees it fitting in. Hurley says "we’re in a neat era of space flight right now." Listen below to hear the rest of his thoughts on the future of space.