Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:17 p.m.
It soars 250 miles above the earth, traveling five miles a second, and no one in in Spokane follows the location of the International Space Station more closely than Charlotte Lamp.
Charlotte tracks the ISS on her phone the way we keep tabs on our kids, because Charlotte’s kid Anne is aboard the International Space Station.
Charlotte remembers her daughter’s first day at pre-school.
“She had her lunch box in her hand and she said ‘I’m going to school to be an astronaut’ and I looked at her and said, ‘Honey you can do anything you want to do. You can be anything you want to be, you just have to go for it,’” Charlotte recalled.
Anne McClain seized her mother’s advice with gusto; flying an Army helicopter through 260 combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Charlotte feels Anne developed a lot of her grit and determination while Anne attended schools here in Spokane.
When Anne blasted her way into space, Councilmember Lori Kinnear asked the Mayor to declare December 3 2018, Anne McClain Day in Spokane.
“I thought the proclamation was important because it highlighted Anne’s dedication, her commitment to science and the fact that she’s an inspiration for young people,” explained Kinnear
Anne graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School and so when it was time to inspire students to study science and reach for the stars, the school asked Anne to headline a G-Prep student assembly.
“I am loud and clear and very excited to hear from you, welcome to Space Station,” Anne told the crowd during a downlink.
Anne’s appearance was sponsored by Mobius and Avista.
Anne drew cheers from the assembly after she unzipped her jumpsuit revealing a Gonzaga Prep T-shirt.
After giving Prep its props. Students from 15 schools watched their first live lesson from space.
“We are learning how to grow plants, both for the health of the astronauts as well as a food source,” Anne said of the experiments astronauts are conducting aboard the space station.
She explained plants will help pave the way for space colonies but Anne’s time speaking to students also sowed the seeds of ambition.
“It just shows me you don’t have to be the perfect student. You don’t have to be super famous or super rich. You can just be an average person and do amazing things. It’s so encouraging,” exclaimed Gonzaga Prep student Erin Dougherty.
At night, you can spot Anne and the International Space Station flying over Spokane on a regular basis.
“I ran out and watched it go over, as we talked her on the phone and then, I got this e-mail on my phone and it was a picture of Spokane, taken by the Russian cosmonaut, as we talked, and this is it,” Charlotte said as she held out her cell phone.
A much larger version of the space photo that show Spokane, and Spokane Valley, now hangs in Charlotte’s living room.
Charlotte also has a special spot picked out for displaying the Mayor’s proclamation.
“I am so thrilled that she took that to heart and realizes the importance of recognizing her daughter how proud she is of her daughter,” Kinnear said after Charlotte was presented the proclamation.
Fewer than 600 people have ever traveled into space and Spokane native Anne McClain is one of them.