Santa Monica High School got an “out of this world” visit March 5th from an alumnus and astronaut who was involved in a mission to the International Space Station.
Astronaut Randy Bresnik, a 1985 Santa Monica High graduate, returned to his alma mater to share his experiences working in outer space with students, faculty, staff and local dignitaries. He was part of a six-person crew that took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida in November on a NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis flight for an 11-day mission to deliver and secure supplies to the International Space Station.
While he was spacewalking in orbit last November, Bresnik’s wife gave birth to their baby daughter.
“The astronaut’s return to Samohi is truly inspirational for our students,” Principal Hugo Pedroza said.
Bresnik, 42, is a Marine officer and experienced combat pilot. He grew up in Santa Monica, where he attended Grant Elementary, John Adams Junior High School (now middle school) and Samohi.
After graduating from high school, Bresnik attended the Citadel in South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and graduated in the top 30 in a class of 800. He earned his master’s degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee.
According to NASA, he has logged more than 4,500 hours in 79 different aircraft prior to walking in space. As part of the mission to the International Space Station, the crew delivered express logistics carriers and brought back a fellow NASA astronaut to Earth.