ONTARIO (CBSLA) — A local astronaut has made history in a landmark mission to the International Space Station.
Southern California native Victor Glover Monday gave a virtual tour of the Space X Crew Dragon capsule during its rendezvous with the station.
Glover graduated from Ontario High School and went to California Polytechnic State University before joining the historic mission that saw a private company partner with NASA.
“I’m just so pleased that Victor could be on the crew,” Daniel Walsh, Glover’s former engineering advisor, said. “It really brings the U.S. back to space in a meaningful way.”
Glover was also a member of the Cal Poly wrestling team. His former coach, Lennis Cowell, watched the Sunday night launch with his wife.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” he said. “Both of us were wiping our eyes and just so joyful for Victor to go through that, not only for that, but for our country.”
Glover is the first Black astronaut to work on the International Space Station for a longterm mission.
“It is important to have kids who look like me — or looked like I looked when I was younger — see someone that they can relate to that way,” Glover said.
After Cal Poly, Glover joined the Navy where he became a commander and test pilot before joining the NASA Astronaut Corps in 2013. He is also married and has four daughters.
“I can’t overemphasize what a great man he is,” Cowell said.
And on Monday, he received his gold pin — a pin that astronauts can only receive once they’ve reached space.
“This gives us an opening to our dreams,” Walsh said.
Glover’s mission is expected to last six months, and both Walsh and Cowell said they plan to email him and hear firsthand what it’s like to be in space.