As commencement approached, we'd been wondering how the University of Houston would top last year's impressive address by Academy Award-winner Matthew McConaughey. Well, the school has certainly done it, nabbing retired astronaut Captain Scott Kelly, also known as the first guy to spend a year in space.
Kelly spent 340 days (okay, so nearly an entire year) aboard the International Space Station as NASA's first "year-round" astronaut, logging more than 143 million miles during his stay. Kelly did all kinds of experiments while he was on the ISS, including NASA's twin study — made possible because Kelly's twin brother, Mark Kelly, the one married to former senator Gabrielle Giffords, is also a retired astronaut — and a bunch of other work with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. And somehow, despite all of the actual scientific work, Kelly also found time to snap and tweet incredible photos to show the world the view from the ISS.
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Kelly will deliver the UH commencement address to 5,000 graduates at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 14 at the TDECU Stadium. The graduation is free but ticketed.
UH is understandably giddy about this get, based on the release issued Friday:
“Scott Kelly represents innovation and a passionate commitment to discovery,” University of Houston President Renu Khator states in the release. “We are excited to have Kelly join this celebration of student achievement. He embodies the pursuit of excellence. Embracing that relentless drive for whatever you are passionate about is my wish for our graduates as they embark on their own exciting journeys out in the world.”
Kelly is going to talk about his experiences in space and leadership stuff and "tell stories of perseverance and his remarkable commitment to discovery." Hopefully he'll show his amazing photos, too.