NASA legend sends Bartow teen to space camp - FOX 13 News

NASA legend sends Bartow teen to space camp

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Kiera Wilmot's luck is changing. Someone she didn't even know just sent her and her twin sister to Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama for a week.

As you may recall, Kiera was arrested after a science experiment she brought to school exploded. She set off without permission. Some people called a bomb. Eventually, she was exonerated, but not before she got international attention, and the attention of Homer Hickam. Hickam is a former NASA engineer who the movie, "October Sky" is based on.

When he was a kid he was falsely accused of starting a wildfire when he set off his model rockets. Eventually he was cleared, and became a NASA scientist.

"I thought, ‘what can I do for this young lady?' " Hickam said. "And I immediately thought Space Camp and Space Academy."

He paid about $1,000 for Kiera's tuition. A fund paid for her sister to go with her.

Hickam, who, after NASA, went on to a successful writing career, said he and Kiera are now buddies. Kiera , her sister, and mom spent the Fourth of July at Hickam's house.

"I don't feel famous, but I feel kinda up there now," Kiera told FOX 13.

Along with learning about space, and getting a boost to her ego, Kiera sailed away from Space Academy with something else: a college credit. It will come in handy at college, where Kiera says she wants to learn to design robots that work in space.



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