Traveling is an activity many people enjoy. Mayfield’s Mary Stocking-Metcalf has taken her share of journeys over the years.
“I’ve been in every state in the Union,” she said. Stocking-Metcalf will be taking another trip come April 1 to Florida. There she will witness the travel bug one might say has become a family tradition. She is going there to watch her granddaughter travel to outer-space.
Space shuttle Discovery will carry seven astronauts into space on April 5.
Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger is one of the seven, she is the afore-mentioned granddaughter of Stocking-Metcalf. Metcalf-Lindenburger is from Fort Collins, Colo. She taught five years at Hudson Bay High School in Vancouver, Washington teaching earth science and astronomy. Stocking-Metcalf is excited for her granddaughter.
“It’s kind of nice, I wouldn’t mind doing it myself,” Stocking-Metcalf said. “But I’m 88 and I don’t think I better try anything like that,” she laughed.
According to the NASA website, Metcalf-Lindenburger was selected to be a NASA Mission Specialist in May of 2004.
Stocking-Metcalf’s granddaughter completed Astronaut Candidate Training in February 2006, during which she received scientific and technical briefings, intensive instructions in Shuttle and International Space Station Systems.
Stocking-Metcalf said her granddaughter has always wanted to go into space and is proud to see her granddaughter fulfill the life-long aspiration.
“As far as I know she always has,” Metcalf-Stocking mentioned. “Because she’s studied geology and all the stuff you need to know to go into space.” In 1997, Metcalf-Lindenburger received her bachelor’s degree in geology from Whitman College in Washington. She has been involved in many organizations and received several special honors. Some of her geological research has led to publications.
Mission STS-131, Metcalf-Lindenburger’s space flight is scheduled to blast-off 5:21 a.m. central time on April 5. The launch window is opened for 10 minutes, the flight will last 13 days. Discovery will deliver a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks to be transferred to laboratories on the International Space Station. The mission will feature three spacewalks.
The last time Stocking-Metcalf got to see her space-bound granddaughter was August 2009 during Metcalf-Stocking’s son’s wedding. This won’t be the first space shuttle the Mayfield resident has seen. She said she got to see a space shuttle launch before. She described the launch having a huge roaring sound. Stocking-Metcalf is really looking forward to seeing her granddaughter’s launch and she couldn’t be more proud.
“She’s been in training a long time, I mean it takes a lot of book work,” Stocking-Metcalf said. “I know she’s studied Russian, she’s a pretty smart little gal.”