D e t r i c k  B r a n s t o n
National Solar Observatory, Kitt Peak


Believe it or not, this is something that I have wanted to do since I saw the first Space Shuttle launch. I pretty much decided right then and there that I wanted to be an astronomer... actually an astronaut. At that point I did not know all the hard work you have to do! At a young age I just thought they went into space, and floated around, and had a lot of fun. But I soon learned that there was a lot more involved, a lot of math, a lot of physics, and-believe it or not-those were not my best subjects! I really did not care too much for math... and had a hard time in physics. But I pretty much knew by the time I was a freshman in high school that I wanted to go to college to study astronomy, and that was what I set my heart on and that was what I wanted to do.
Detrick opening up the Vacuum Tower Telescope one sunny Sun-day morning.

What helped at school? Well, it was a combination. My mother was pretty strict about checking my homework, and I was not able to slack off. And there were teachers who encouraged me to study, especially in college. I had some pretty good professors who were watching out for me. And I was able to get a job at the National Solar Observatory after graduating with an undergrad. degree from the University of Arizona.

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