Meet Dr Don Thomas, a former Nasa astronaut on a mission to uplift young minds

Dr Donald Thomas, is an American engineer and a former (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Nasa astronaut.

He's veteran of four shuttle missions and has logged over a 1 000 hours in space.

He's orbited the earth nearly 700 times during his 20 years with Nasa.

Now Dr Thomas spends many of his days public speaking, giving lectures and inspiring youths to pursue mathematics and science subjects.

The former astronaut is in South Africa for the Living Maths Space Tour, which will see him give a series of public talks and school addresses in Cape Town, Joburg and Durban.

The Living Maths Space Tour initiative helps encourage learners to get passionate about the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths.

Thomas says he was inspired to become an astronaut at just the young age of six and wants to pass on the gift of big dreams to young people.

He was applied to the Nasa space programme four times before getting accepted and says perseverance is a big part of value system.

We're working hard to get young learners inspired and excited about space exploration and about studying maths, science, and engineering.

Dr Donald Thomas, public speaker and former Nasa astronaut

These are the next generation of engineers and scientists and space explorers.

Dr Donald Thomas, public speaker and former Nasa astronaut

When I was six-years-old, the US launched the first American astronaut and I watched the event on television on school. I said I want to do that.

Dr Donald Thomas, public speaker and former Nasa astronaut

It took me a while to achieve my goal. I was 39 the first time I went in space. That's 33 years of working hard, not giving up and dreaming all the time.

Dr Donald Thomas, public speaker and former Nasa astronaut

My whole career and life I was working to position myself to get into the astronaut programme.

Dr Donald Thomas, public speaker and former Nasa astronaut

It was so worth it in the end.

Dr Donald Thomas, public speaker and former Nasa astronaut

Take a listen to his inspiring story and the journey that led him to reach for the stars:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Meet Dr Don Thomas, a former Nasa astronaut on a mission to uplift young minds


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