The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis is seen with from the International Space Station. REUTERS/NASA TV/Handout
(This report is the third and final in a Yahoo! News series on the shutdown of the space shuttle program.)
When Atlantis lands at Cape Canaveral on Thursday, back from the very last mission to the International Space Station, 20-year-old Amanda Premer will be getting ready to move to Houston. The fourth-year aerospace engineering major is headed to Johnson Space Center's Cooperative Education program, where she will be alternating her last semesters at Wichita State University with three "work tours" at the NASA site. She hopes to secure a full-time job with NASA.
"I want to be an astronaut," said Premer, who has spent the last four summers working at the Cosmosphere space camp in Hutchinson, Kan. "Even though NASA doesn't have anything lined up to follow the shuttle program, the world's always going to need astronauts. And I'd like to be one of them."
As NASA's 30-year space shuttle program draws to a close, the next generation of aspiring astronauts and talented aerospace engineersRead More »from What’s next for America’s aspiring astronauts?