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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It’s not every day we get a chance to talk to an astronaut. Former astronaut Robert Lee Curbeam is in New Orleans this week to talk weather at the National Meteorological Society conference. But before that, we brought him to the News With A Twist studio. Here are three things we learned.

Space is beautiful

Robert Curbeam has been in space three times for three different missions.

“I tell everybody to imagine the best picture from space you’ve seen. It’s a hundred times more beautiful than it really is. You know, you think about the movie, still pictures. It is absolutely wonderful,” Curbeam said.

Don’t take technology for granted

When Robert was an astronaut he was responsible for satellites. This week he will speak to meteorologists. One message will be not to take technology for granted.

“It’s something I think we take for granted. You guys will always be able to give the accurate weather forecast, and those satellite pictures are always there. They’re there because of what Raytheon and the other companies that put the satellite,” Curbeam said.

Curbeam continued, “Those things are important, and that’s what affects our everyday life.”

Education is essential

One of Robert’s passions is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

“It is important not only for me because I love it, but I think it’s important for all of us. These are the people who are going to design that next software app that you use on your phone. That next phone that you use the next global positioning system to the people that are learning that today, that are going to take my place as these technological leaders in industry and government in the world,” Curbeam said.