Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NASA astronaut felicitated

GUWAHATI, Sept 2: “When you have a dream you keep working to achieve it,” said Colonel Edward Michael ‘Mike’ Fincke, the NASA astronaut who was the Commander of the recent Expedition 18 Mission to the International Space Station, during the public felicitation programme organized by Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS) at Pragjyoti ITA Centre at Machkhowa in Guwahati today.

The astronaut shared some light moments with the audience and expressed the pleasure he experienced while looking at the mighty Brahmaputra and the beautiful Northeast from space. He also appreciated Asom’s rich cultural roots. The potential of the children of the region impressed Mike. “It is very probable, almost guaranteed that there will be an astronaut from Asom,” he said and added,“ Northeast India has a very bright future.”

Mike is married to Renita Saikia who hails from Asom and is a fellow engineer in NASA. Mike started his speech with the words,“Swardheya raiz, Chief Minister dangariya,” and won the hearts of the people present at the function. He concluded with the words, “Dhanyabad, sadou akhambakhi raijak mur namaskar.”

The astronaut was felicitated with a gamocha, a chador, an Asomiya zapi and a citation. FASS conferred Mike the title ‘The Astronaut of the People’.

Present at the function as chief guest, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi accepted a gamocha, made in Sualkuchi, from Mike on behalf of the people of Asom. This gamocha was presented to Mike before he went on his space mission and it has been signed by all the astronauts present in the mission. The gamocha is likely to be kept for the public at State Museum.

Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister laid stress on science and technology and said hard work and determination are the keys to success. THE SENTINEL

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