NASA Shows East Texans Appreciation

The Space Station Imagination docked in Palestine Thursday ready for students to board.

"I have always loved space and science," says Zachary Paris, a student. "I thought it would be a really cool experience."

The tour of imagination was a gift to East Texas from NASA for the long hours hometown crews searched for Columbia debris.

"I think what we are trying to do coming here today is to start and pay just a tiny bit back of the gratitude we have for the towns of East Texas," says Daniel Burbank, astronaut.

Astronaut Daniel Burbank, a former Atlantis crew member, says the travelling space station trailer offers East Texans an important glimpse into why space exploration is still so beneficial.

"I think the most important thing about this is to try and tell the story to kids about what NASA is doing, in this case, the International Space Station is doing for us," says Burbank.

As students travelled through Space Station Imagination, an interactive astronaut showed them what it's like to live and work in space, even sleep in space.

"It's really cool because you can get in there and sleep so you won't float around," says Charis Watts.

Their questions about eating in space were also answered.

"They air out there foods and they have to put water in it," says Teri Klauser, student. "I like the computer room," says Dalvin Campbell, Cayuga.

But maybe the biggest pay-off came when students saw what space can do for science and medicine through experiments.

"I thought it was cool," says Faith Rodriguez. "Maybe I can make up an experiment myself." And that's what Space Station Imagination is all about, getting students thinking about the future of the space program.

Dana Dixon reporting