By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– An assembly at a Maryland high school provided students with the chance of a lifetime Thursday.

South River’s auditorium holds a lot of seats. Very few were empty, because the International Space Station provided some excitement.

“South River High school, welcome aboard the international space station,” said NASA astronaut Rick Arnold, who grew up in Maryland and is a school teacher.

Arnold spoke to student from the International Space Station thanks to a live video hook-up. His parents were surprised teaching took him to space.

“He applied to NASA, and I said ‘I didn’t know they had a school’, and he said ‘they don’t really have a school, but they’re looking for teachers to go back in the program,'” father Dick Arnold said.

Students lined up with their questions.

“If you had to describe your experience at NASA in three words, what would they be?” student Lexi Parker asked.

“I think challenging, exciting and fulfilling,” Rick said. “It’s a challenging job, there’s a lot expected of us. A lot to learn. Requires a lot of hard work.”

“Ricky, what happens if an astronaut gets sick during a mission?” one student said.

“Drew’s trained, I’m trained, but neither want the other guy to perform any kind of emergency medical procedure on each other,” Risk responded.

“Astronomy is really fascinating. I love learning about the stars and the planets, so maybe I will end up in space some day,” student Elizabeth Zanolli.

For his parents, there is pride in their son’s accomplishments, and sometimes worry.

“Yeah, the launches are pretty intense, that’s for sure,” Dick said.

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