Every job comes with its own, unique perks, but NASA astronauts seem to have the best perk of all: The opportunity to visit space.
That's not the only bonus, however, according to NASA astronaut Andrew J. Feustel.
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"The other wonderful thing about this job is the opportunity to go and talk to people about what we do — especially kids," Feustel told Business Insider during a press event at NASA's Johnson Spaceflight Center in December.
Feustel first signed on to be a NASA astronaut in July 2000 and is now one of the 47 active astronauts at NASA today. He's spent over 40 hours in the unprotected confines of outer space, performing space walks that included upgrades to prolong the life of the famous Hubble Space Telescope.
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"I hope that over the 15 years that I've been an astronaut and in the years to follow, I will continue to be able to inspire children," he said at the event which was to promote the Digital HD and Blu-ray/DVD release of the sci-film "The Martian." Both are now available.
For Feust, there was no question growing up that space was going to be a part of his future. He was born in 1965, smack in the middle of the great space race between the US and USSR, and it was this feverish thirst for space exploration that inspired Feust, along with an entire generation, to reach for the stars.
But it's not the drive to become an astronaut that Feust tries to inspire in the generations to come. He envisions something grander.
"I hope that every time I go to talk to a school, youth organization, or university that there's somebody there that heard what I said and was inspired personally to go off and pursue whatever goal they had. It doesn't have to be space exploration," he said.
"It doesn't have to be to become an astronaut, but that they were inspired to follow the dream that they had and pursue that and be successful."