An Eastern Iowa native is about to be honored for his service with NASA by being inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

KWQC reports that Dr. David Hilmers served with NASA from 1980 to 1992. Hilmers was born in Clinton and raised in DeWitt, Iowa. He took part in four space missions and his peers have voted him into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. According to KWQC, Hilmers served in a variety of roles during his time with NASA including shuttle software testing, EVA suit development, capsule communicator for six shuttle missions, and even flew on the Atlantis space shuttle.

In the late 70s, Hilmer was serving in the Marines and sent in an application to NASA, never expecting to get a call. Hilmers told KWQC that his 12-year run at NASA was the experience of a lifetime and propelled him to his second career, as a medical doctor. Hilmers started medical school at the age of 42!

So what is it like in space? Hilmers says that he will never forget the feeling of venturing into the sky. He told KWQC,

The physical experience, you remember, and it was amazing. But I think it’s the kind of the emotional, spiritual idea, feelings, that you got looking out into the stars and looking back at the Earth and having some idea of our smallness in the universe and the need for all of us to take care of this planet and to take care of each other.

KWQC reports that Hilmers currently lives in Australia. For the past four years, he has been working with NASA to help with medical problems involving sending people to Mars and the moon.

Hilmers will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center on June 1st.

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