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Marine vet turned NASA astronaut speaks to Marines and military families

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Marine veteran Dr. Story Musgrave

Dr. Story Musgrave, a former Marine staff sergeant and NASA astronaut, visited  Base Hawaii to speak to the Marines of Marine Aircraft Group 24 July 7, 2017.

Musgrave shared his remarkable life story with the Marines of MAG-24, as well as his philosophy for living a happy, successful, and fulfilling life.

“This is a man who has lived seven or eight different lives,” said Col. Christopher Patton, commanding officer of MAG-24. “I’d have been honored to live even one of them.”

Musgrave began his career in the  in 1953 as an air crew chief, and has logged 17,700 hours in 160 different types of civilian and military aircraft. An accomplished parachutist, he has made over 500 free falls, many involving his own research on human aerodynamics. With a laundry list of bachelors’ degrees, masters’ degrees, and a doctorate in medicine, Musgrave took his passion for science and flight to NASA.

There was no initial plan to obtain nine graduate degrees or move to such diverse job fields, Musgrave said.

“The total education you see was not conceived ahead of time,” Musgrave said. “It was conceived as the next step.”

Selected as a scientist-astronaut in August 1967, Musgrave was part of the Apollo Space Program, aiding in the development and design of the Skylab Program. A veteran of six space flights, he is the only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles. Musgrave retired from NASA in 1997 with 1,281 hours, 59 minutes, 22 seconds spent in space.

“What was crazy about that presentation was that Dr. Story just never stopped,” said Sgt. Alexis Fernandez, an electrician with Marine Wing Support Detachment 24. “He was hungry to be better, to do more things, and to have fun with it.”

Musgrave serves as a source of inspiration and motivation to himself and his Marines, Fernandez said.

“Dr. Musgrave has really inspired me just to have that hunger,” Fernandez said. “To not give up at any point in life and always try to succeed in that next profession.”

Musgrave stressed the importance of staying inquisitive and pursuing endeavors that hold a special significance to each individual.

“I’ve always said, if you don’t like your life, trade it in for a new one,” Musgrave said. “It all goes back to my theme; it’s the next step. Allow your curiosities and your passions to take you there.”

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