Astronaut Mark Kelly Visits Elementary School

c57f65d9bb8ea21f9877_kelly_f.JPG
Jeff Rutzky, Joanne Pollara, Laura Lab, Buzz Lightyear, Captain Kelly, Mark Robertson, Mark Robertson,Sandra Mordecai, Ron Charles and Dr. Donna Rando. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
7692e517fcf8f0602c51_kelly_e.JPG
Mark Kelly Addresses the Crowd Credits: Cynthia Cumming
27bf743d5bd462cfa794_kelly_c.JPG
 Students pay respect to Captain Kelly with astronaut helmets. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
2ed6bbe07eef4ca8af61_kelly_d.JPG
Fifth grade students perform a reading of Kelly's children's book, "Mousetronaut."  Credits: Cynthia Cumming
a2ddf7cba5683b6d4257_kelly_b.JPG
Fifth grade students salute Captain Kelly. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
b9a0cc2c8f627ca254cd_kelly_a.JPG
The WOHS Jr. AFROTC leads the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
c57f65d9bb8ea21f9877_kelly_f.JPG

WEST ORANGE, NJ – It’s no secret that astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, twins, are the two most famous graduates of West Orange’s Pleasantdale Elementary School, and it was an exciting day on Oct. 13 as Captain Mark Kelly paid a special visit to his alma mater.

Mark Kelly is a naval aviator who has traveled to into space four times including voyages on the Space Shuttles Discovery and Endeavor. He was a pilot and a commander, leading his teams on missions to the International Space Station.

His twin brother, Scott, is currently aboard the ISS as part of a year-long study to determine whether travel to Mars may be possible (the trip to Mars should take three years). NASA will study both brothers upon completion of the study, to help determine the effects of extended space travel.

Sign Up for E-News

On Oct. 16, Scott Kelly broke the U.S. record for “most days spent in space,” marking his 383rd day of living in space that day. His record surpassed the previous record of 382 cumulative days, according to NASA.

However, this isn't the only record Scott Kelly will break during his current stint in space. On Oct. 29, he will break the record for the “single longest spaceflight by an American astronaut,” by having spent 216 consecutive days in space. The record is currently held by Michael Lopez-Alegria, who spent 215 days in space in 2006.

He tweeted, “Records are meant to be broken. Look fwd to one of my colleagues surpassing my end 500+ days on our #JourneyToMars! https://twitter.com/Space_Station/status/655035540631216128 …

Kelly's mission in space will end on March 3, 2016, "by which time he will have compiled 522 total days living in space during four missions," NASA said in a statement.

Excited students and staff saluted Mark Kelly as he entered the Pleasantdale gym. And, students had prepared helmets and wore them as part of their recognition. In addition, the Student Congress welcomed Mark Kelly and the fifth grade chorus performed two musical numbers, “Land that We Love,” and “Don’t Let the Music Stop,” as well as a reading of Kelly’s children’s book, “Mousetronaut.”

Students also presented him with a scrapbook and spirit wear, while Superintendent Jeff Rutzky presented Mark Kelly with a WOHS tie, saying he hoped to someday see that tie in space.

Mark Kelly regaled the students with his adventures in space and his fond memories of Pleasantdale School.

“It’s great to be back at Pleasantdale where I spent so many good years,” said Mark Kelly, who, addition to going to Pleasantdale, attended Roosevelt Middle School and graduated from Mountain High School in 1982, along with his brother.

“You have a lot to look forward to,” he told students. “Someday you might be able to take a spaceship instead of a plane to travel around the world in a few minutes.”

In describing his childhood, Kelly said, “I didn’t think about what the future held for me, but if you do well in school, listen to your parents, work hard and pay attention, you will have so many opportunities.”

 “Astronaut Kelly has taught us so many things today,” said Pleasantdale Principal Dr. Joanne Pollara, “and that we can reach for the stars. With hard work and a good heart it’s all possible.”

Pollara then held up a laminated copy of a newspaper heralding the 1969 moon landing.

 “This newspaper from 1969 represents the past; Captain Kelly represents our present, and all of you are our future,” Pollara said.

 To see all the photos from Mark Kelly's visit, click HERE. (Photo credits: Cynthia Cumming)

 To see photos from Scott Kelly's year-long stay in space, follow him on Twitter HERE.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Save $2.50 on Next Visit to Livingston Car Wash

July 17, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Drivers can save $2.50 the next time they get their vehicle cleaned at Livingston Car Wash.

Come to Livingston Car Wash at 111 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue for a car wash and $2.50 will be discounted from the regular price.

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fitness
Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2468930b54fcb2172eae_gb_front

Sat, July 21, 12:30 PM

CycleBar Livingston, Livingston

Bike for the Bean

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_d36e8541b1fb2e142ef9_bobbyvalli_par440_3_dates__11x17

Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Man Stabbed in Valley Section of West Orange

July 18, 2018

WEST ORANGE – A West Orange man was stabbed Sunday evening during an attack in The Valley section of the township, according to officials.

Police were called the 300 block of Valley Road around 5:45 p.m. on a report of an aggravated assault. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed during an attack by a group of individuals who later fled the scene, according to township spokeswoman Susan ...

Public Invited to Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force Meeting

July 15, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ — All Essex County residents, mayors and councils, law enforcement members, school officials, clergy members, civic organizations and more are invited to join in the next Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss how the Essex County communities can join work together to eradicate this epidemic.

The meeting will be held at the ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...