Jacksonville native accepted as astronaut trainee

Jacksonville native accepted as astronaut trainee

JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - Christina Hammock is one of eight people accepted by N.A.S.A. into the astronaut trainee program. Over 6,000 people applied.

 Dr. Ronald Hammock, her father, still lives in Greenville. He says this is a dream she has had for a long time.

"Ever sense she was a small child she said, 'when I grow up, I'm going to be an astronaut.'" said Dr. Hammock.

Christina Hammock grew up in Jacksonville in Onslow County. She says she had nothing but support toward her goal growing up.

"I definitely just want to thank everyone, all of my teachers from White Oak High School and Hunters Creek and Saint Francis in Jacksonville. Everyone was incredibly encouraging and always told me to think big and follow my dreams, and there's absolutely no way I could have accomplished anything that I have without their support, and I just thank everyone so much." said Hammock.

It will be several years before Hammock would be able to go into space. Future missions could take her to a wide variety of destinations.

"The missions right now that are on the horizon are the International Space Station and then farther down the road missions Mars and an asteroid." said Hammock.

Currently, Hammock's training has brought her to American Samoa. She works at an observation station there as a jack of all trades.

"Once I get to work I basically just run a climate observatory which an include everything from fixing scientific instruments to replacing doorknobs on things." said Hammock.

Hammock says she hopes to see the fastest sunrise, in space. She has already seen the slowest sunrise when at the South Pole.

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