Ask any kindergarten class what they want to be when they grow up and I guarantee at least a couple of kids will say, "I want to be an astronaut." I mean, who didn't want to go to space? Then, as kids get a little older they realize the astronomical odds of that dream coming true and they end up settling for a boring life in sales (or writing articles like this).

Space travel has become slightly more attainable in recent years with ventures like Space X offering private citizens the chance to go beyond our atmosphere, but you've got to be really, really rich or extremely lucky to get a seat on a rocketship. Since the late 60s, only around 600 people have been to space, so yeah... the chances of your childhood astronaut dreams coming true are extremely thin. Out of 12,000 applicants in 2021, NASA accepted just ten candidates for their astronaut program. These brilliant individuals now must complete two years of additional training.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
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Meet NASA astronaut Terry Virts in Billings on January 28th.

The Alberta Bair Theater is proud to bring Terry Virts to Billings. He was the pilot of the space shuttle Endeavour, a flight engineer on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and a Commander of the International Space Station. Virts spent more than seven months in space, including one of the longest continuous space missions of any NASA astronaut.

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Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for IMAX Corporation
Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for IMAX Corporation
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It's part of the National Geographic Live Series at Alberta Bair.

In addition to being an awesome astronaut, Virts is an accomplished author and holds film credits for his work with One More Orbit (2020) and in the 2016 IMAX film A Beautiful Planet. He'll share his stunning photos and stories during the January 28th show at the Alberta Bair. Tickets are $37 adult/$20 student (plus fees) and you can get them HERE or at the ABT Box Office.

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