Welcome Aboard Crewmates,
My name is Paul Lockhart, and it’s great to have you join me! Thanks for visiting Virtus Adventures. I can’t wait to see what amazing adventures we embark on together.
Adventures? Yes, adventures. That’s our mission. To go on adventures together.
I’m sure you are wondering, “Who is the person that wants me to join him on adventures?” I can hear you now through the intercom as you talk to each other. Well, that is fair. After all, I wouldn’t go on an adventure with just anyone either. So, who is asking you to hold tight as we open the throttles to the rocket’s main engine? It’s me! Paul Lockhart. NASA Astronaut. Air Force Test Pilot. Air Force Fighter Pilot. Guess what, I was your age a long time ago. Back then, I went on adventures through books. Adventures about Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and Madame Curie.
Before liftoff, I guess I should tell you a bit about myself.
I live in Virginia, but I am originally from Texas. Yahoo! I grew up in the panhandle of the great state of Texas where the wind blows hard, thunderstorms tower in the sky, and the stars at night are big and bold. My dad was an Air Traffic Controller at the airport and my mom was, well, she was the best mom in the world. Tough as nails, but very loving. I went to high school in Amarillo, Texas, and in the summers I worked in the feedlots watching the cowboys herd the cattle on local farms and ranches doing all kinds of odd jobs. I was outdoors every day, and I learned a lot about work.
I then went to college at Texas Tech University where I studied mathematics. I’m not sure how I decided to study math, other than my favorite teacher in high school was my math teacher and I always found math hard. It was challenging and so I didn’t want to shy away from it. After Texas Tech, I spent a year in Austria. Austria? Where is Austria and how did a young man from Texas get to Austria? Well, I’ll let you know later when we set up for some of our expeditions. For now, I’ll just say what a great experience that was. I learned how to speak German. “Wie geht es Ihnen – How are you?” See, I still know my German.
After one year I knew I wanted to become an astronaut, and I came back to Texas to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. Boy, did I really learn how to use my math an solve all kinds of problems. The stuff I learned there helped me become an Air Force pilot and then astronaut. Along the way, I lived in Germany flying as an American fighter pilot, traveled to many countries, and had many wonderful adventures, some big, some small – but all of which made me know I was one lucky guy. That is why I want to share the love of learning and adventure with you. I love the way math and engineering allow you to be creative and solve problems.
As I you now know, I have always been drawn to adventure. When I was young, I had an aunt who first sparked my love of adventure. She would tell me stories about the jungles of South America and would give me adventure books like one of my first and favorite books called Wild Animals of North America. I’d spend hours reading about the amazing creatures that inhabit our planet and the brave men and women who studied them with total amazement. It didn’t take me long to start seeking out books, movies, and television shows about adventure. I loved these stories, how these characters found themselves in challenging and sometimes dangerous situations, and how they managed to overcome the challenges and survive thanks to the courage and working together as a team.
Those adventures stores helped me become and a fighter pilot, test pilot and even NASA astronaut. You know, those adventure stories were on my mind when I piloted two missions to the International Space Station and directed six space walks and logged 26 days in space.
From my work on the farms and ranches in Texas, and from my family, I became a firm believer in hard work and integrity, two of the most important things that have allowed me to go on so many adventures in my life. So, my hope is that, through this website and the books I want to write with you, I can pass on some of the lessons I’ve learned and help you feel ready to seek out adventure in your own life.