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Aggie Spirit Out of This World

When Aggie Astronaut Michael Fossum rocketed into space on July 4th, he took the Aggie spirit with him.

"Once we got into orbit, then the Aggies started to unleash," said Fossum.

That's because the 1980 Aggie graduate was on board, becoming the first Aggie undergraduate to travel to space.

"I tried to stay a little bit low key, but as it got closer and closer to the flight, it became obvious I wasn't going to get away with it," admitted Fossum.

In fact, while floating 220 miles above the earth, Fossum and his crew woke up to the sounds of the Texas Aggie War Hymn.

He also received a very special wakeup call from the Texas A&M Yell Leaders.

"I was still surprised by the huge outpouring of support. Everybody was excited and I'm just really lucky to be a part of that excitement," said Fossum.

But the biggest surprise of Fossum's mission was getting a long distance message from a well-known fellow Aggie.

"I got word a few days into the mission that Governor Rick Perry wanted to talk to me. I thought, oh my goodness, the whole crew? No, just you, Mike, it's the Aggie connection," said Fossum.

A proud Aggie, Fossum admits the Aggie-Longhorn rivalry reached new heights with fellow astronaut and University of Texas graduate Stephanie Wilson.

"We were giving each other a hard time the whole time. You never knew where I was going to find my Aggie hat, or she had the little longhorn stickers on some lockers and I'd go in there and cut the horns off of them," laughed Fossum.

But it's the Aggie in the crowd who credits his alma mater to his out-of-this-world journey.


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