SEMO group travels to watch space launch

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

A group of 13 faculty members and students from Southeast Missouri State University couldn't afford to hit the snooze button this morning - they had to be on campus to board a van by 5:30 a.m.

The group will drive 700 miles today on the first leg of a two-day journey to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to watch Jackson native, and 1974 graduate of Southeast, Linda Godwin be launched into space Thursday evening on NASA's STS-108 mission.

Perryville resident Laura Meyer, a 27-year-old senior majoring in physics, is among nine students making the trip. She said getting up at 3:30 a.m. to make it to Cape Girardeau on time is definitely a sacrifice worth making for the opportunity to see a space shuttle launch in person.

"It's pretty exciting because I want to go into astronomy," Meyer said. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."

John Tansil, a physics professor at Southeast, will be one of four faculty members with the students on the trip.

He said the group will stop at the Georgia, Florida border for the night Wednesday before completing the final 300 miles of the trip Thursday morning.

Tansil said this trip is the first of its kind for the university, and was expedited by an invitation from Godwin to attend the launch.

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