Aviation student, professor attend space launch

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Should we telephone him Astronaut Strahan, now?

"Good Morning America" co-anchor Michael Strahan earned his commercialized astronaut wings aft blasting disconnected connected the Blue Origin rocket Saturday greeting from Van Horn, Texas.

While Strahan, a Houston autochthonal and Texas Southern University alum, was inching toward the borderline of space, a fortunate TSU pupil and prof were determination to watch.

Angel Mata, a elder astatine TSU, and aviation prof Ed Pataky were some connected manus to spot the magical moment.

"I'm conscionable wholly blown away," Pataky said earlier the launch. "I grew up with the abstraction program. Never saw a launch, and present I get to bash it."

ABC13 caught up with the brace aft the launch, and it's harmless to say, they were conscionable arsenic blown distant arsenic they were earlier the motorboat happened.

WATCH: Michael Strahan blasts disconnected into space; Blue Origin unit successfully lands backmost connected Earth

"All you tin accidental is wow," Pataky gushed. "I'm conscionable present coming backmost down to earth. There's nary mode to picture it. You person to beryllium there. I was conscionable perfectly awestruck. I've seen it connected TV a cardinal times, seen millions of pictures of it, but there's thing similar really seeing it successful person."

"What truly deed maine is erstwhile the booster was coming down and that truly starts to reverberate betwixt the mountains retired implicit here," Pataky continued. "It didn't conscionable spell 'boom, boom.' It conscionable benignant of rumbled away. It was thing you've got to experience."

Once Strahan was backmost connected earth, helium stopped to chat with Pataky and had a connection for TSU students.

"I'm retired of TSU. I ne'er thought I'd beryllium here. I ne'er thought I'd beryllium anyplace adjacent a rocket, connected a rocket, adjacent space. The lone abstraction I thought I would spot is the 1 betwixt my teeth," helium joked.

Strahan continued, calling it the "most magnificent" acquisition of his life, adding that the acquisition was imaginable due to the fact that of the agleam minds astatine institutions similar TSU.

"You besides recognize it's created by astute radical similar the students astatine TSU, who whitethorn ne'er get a accidental to go, but their ingenuity, their education, their quality to fig things out, makes what we conscionable did hopefully accessible to much radical successful the future," Strahan said.

You tin presumption Strahan's afloat remarks successful the video subordinate above.

Texas Southern University is the lone instauration successful the authorities that offers a four-year Aviation degree. At slightest 80 students are enrolled successful the program.

"If you deliberation astir it, successful immoderate of these neighborhoods successful Houston, you're ne'er going to get an accidental to talk to a aviator oregon an craft mechanic," explained TSU Director of Aviation Dr. Terence Fontaine.

Texas Southern is the lone HBCU successful the state with formation simulation programs.

Mata told ABC13 aft Saturday's palmy ngo that knowing Strahan was onboard arsenic a TSU alum lone makes him much proud.
"It makes you consciousness arrogant astir the legacy, you know, Michael Strahan and different alumni that graduated from Texas Southern. We're a family, truthful the camaraderie that we have, doesn't substance what twelvemonth you graduate, we're ever going to beryllium determination for each other, truthful it's fantastic to beryllium present and spot his accomplishment ," Mata said.

Meanwhile, Fontaine hopes the Blue Origin motorboat volition animate much students to prosecute aviation - a tract that has historically lacked diversity.

"It's a beauteous field, aviation. I've loved it each my life, truthful conscionable trying to springiness backmost and effort to assistance these kids recognize thing I've realized my full life," Fontaine said. "For these kids to beryllium capable to speech to idiosyncratic similar Michael, who walked the aforesaid hallway that helium did, I deliberation means a lot."

Watch absorption from TSU aviation prof Ed Pataky and elder Angel Mata

SEE ALSO: 'Good Morning America' big Michael Strahan's Blue Origin grooming begins successful Van Horn, Texas

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