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NASA: Children Should Still Dream To Be Astronauts

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US astronaut Shannon Walker rests after landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan, on November 26, 2010. The Soyuz TMA-19 capsule carrying the crew of Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA's Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker landed on earth, returning from six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 24 and 25 crews. (Photo by SHAMIL ZHUMATOV/AFP/Getty Images)

US astronaut Shannon Walker rests after landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan, on November 26, 2010. The Soyuz TMA-19 capsule carrying the crew of Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA’s Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker landed on earth, returning from six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 24 and 25 crews. (Photo by SHAMIL ZHUMATOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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BARRINGTON, Ill. (AP) — NASA’s Shannon Walker asserts the retirement of the space shuttles shouldn’t cause children to give up their dreams of becoming astronauts.

Walker on Wednesday told students at St. Anne School in Barrington that in 2010 she flew to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket. She had to learn the Russian language first before she could train on the Russian equipment.

Walker said despite the fact her liftoff and return occurred in Kazakhstan, the rocket crew consisted of two Americans and a Russian cosmonaut.

Walker told the students the most important preparation for becoming an astronaut is to do well in school. She added they should study a foreign language they are interested in while they are children, noting learning Russian as an adult was very difficult for her.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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