“The purpose of going to space is to make discoveries that benefit all of humanity.”
Who he is: Last April, this NASA astronaut returned from his second space mission after spending 173 days on the International Space Station.
What he did: Scientific research to help improve global conditions. “For example, the water recycling technologies used on the Space Station are now being used to help nations without clean water supplies.”
Why he chose this career: Blame it on the moon landings (1969-1972), he says, which he watched on TV. “Because of that, every boy my age wanted to be an astronaut.”
Career countdown: Kimbrough was an Apache helicopter pilot and major in the U.S. Army when Johnson Space Center hired him in 2000 to train astronauts to land a space shuttle, opening the door to achieving his dream.
Biggest misconception about going to space: “People think we still go to the moon.” Instead, five or six astronauts at a time perform missions at the International Space Station.
Hardest part: “Six months is a long time to be away from your family.”