From space, MacLean thanks York for his ‘wonderful’ university years

Steve MacLean aboard AtlantisAstronaut and York alumnus Steve MacLean has sent a new message from space to the York community via President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, thanking York for his “wonderful” experience at the University and saying of his time in space: “I find it astounding that it is possible to live so much in such a short time.”

Right: MacLean at work on board the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory

MacLean (BSc ’77, PhD ’83) is today preparing for his return to earth, scheduled for 5:57am ET tomorrow morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He and the five other crew members of the Atlantis space shuttle blasted off on Saturday, Sept. 9, and linked up with the International Space Station, where they installed new solar arrays that will double the station’s electrical power. As part of the mission, MacLean took his first spacewalk and operated both Canadarms – one aboard the shuttle, the other aboard the space station.

Here is MacLean’s e-mail to Marsden (the ellipses are his):

“I would like to pass a message to the York community.
“The entire experience of preparing for launch, launching, reaching orbit, executing a very difficult mission and then…preparing to return allows one in such a short time to feel the full range of human emotions. I find it astounding that it is possible to live so much in such a short time. I look forward to sharing this story with you all on my return.

“But more important I would like to thank the many members of the York community for my experience at York. Those years were excellent for me and I realize now that they served to shape the balanced approach that makes each and every day meaningful. York University was wonderful for me and I thank you.
“You all should see the stars right now…their penetrating warm glow soothes the soul.
“From Outer Space
“Steve MacLean.”

This was MacLean’s second message to Marsden.  For further stories on his mission and the York connections to it, see YFile Sept. 12 and Aug. 31.  Mac:Lean documented his pre-launch preparations in a diary published in the Aug. 10 and Aug. 16 issues of YFile.

A direct feed from NASA is being shown in the lobby of the Computer Science & Engineering Building daily from 8:30am to 4pm for the duration of the shuttle mission.

Full details and updates on the mission and its schedule, as well as NASA TV webcasts, can be seen at NASA’s main shuttle page.