27 years ago I was only 10 years old. Back then I had a strong interest in science and the space program. My jr. high school participated in the Young Astronauts program that was started just 4 years prior to me being a participant. We’d meet on a weekly basis in the school library. Occasionally we’d have speakers do presentations on various aspects of the program.
One of the highlights was being given the name of an Astronaut to write to. I was given the name of Mission Specialist David Hilmers. If you do the math, this was all just two years after the Challenger accident on January 26th, 1996. Astronaut Hilmers was chosen to be on the STS-26 mission which was the first one to launch after Challenger. Here’s the letter and some photos I received after writing to him.