About the Author: Anne J. Johnson serves as Information Resource Officer for Southern Africa at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
Fifty Mamelodi high school students talked with American astronaut Daniel Tani via web chat on July 29 at the Mae Jemison U.S. Science Reading Room, a partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and the University of Pretoria. The room is named after the first African-American woman astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison, whose historic flight on the Space Shuttle Endeavor took place in September 1992.
Tani was at his home in Houston when he responded to students’ questions about his experiences as a NASA astronaut. Tani has served on two missions to the International Space Station and logged over four months in space. The students asked a myriad of questions ranging from the personal to the technical, but his best advice may have been to “learn how to learn” and to be passionate about your career. At least one student wanted information immediately on how to train for a career as an astronaut.
The web chat capped a month long series of programs at Mae Jemison celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the first lunar landing in July of 1969.