As 100 current UCF students watched Space Shuttle Discovery blast off from a campus parking garage, a former UCF student was living her dream on board.

With Saturday’s awe-inspiring midnight launch, Nicole Stott became the first UCF graduate to soar into space.


“It means a lot to me,” Stott told UCF News and Information.


Stott earned a UCF master’s degree in Engineering Management in 1992, and credits the support of her professors and program with giving her the confidence boost to go for her dream and apply to be an astronaut, according to UCF News and Information.


According to UCF, Stott will take a UCF pennant and family photos with her to make the space station feel more like home. She will live on the space station for three months, participate in a space walk and help complete studies about astronauts’ nutrition and immune systems.

She’ll also deliver a treadmill named after Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, who won a contest to have his name in space. photographer Erin Huntley snapped the photos showing the UCF graduate and her crew lighting up the night sky over her alma mater.

“There were about 100 people on top of the parking garage, all trying to get a great seat for the fantastic night sky show,” Huntley said.

She said many students ran out of the Late Knights event to catch the sight from on top of Garage D.

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Stott’s Nasa Bio:

Related Video: UCF Reports on UCF Alumna in Space