On March 6, 2018, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth students had an out-of-this-world experience: a 20-minute live video conversation with NASA astronaut Scott Tingle.

Tingle was some 254 miles above the Earth as a crew member aboard the International Space Station at the time of the call.

Area school children also participated in the Earth-to-space call aired live on NASA Television and NASA's website.

In November of that year, he was back on land and appeared at UMass Dartmouth in person to share more about his journey.

"Walking in space is the hardest thing I've ever done," he told a full house in the campus auditorium. "It requires everything — brain and body."

He returned with a renewed perspective for the place we all call home.

"We are on a spaceship right now, and it is hurtling through the universe at ungodly speeds," he said. "We need to take care of it, and we need to take care of each other."

Tingle was born July 19, 1965, in Attleboro, Massachusetts, and raised in Randolph. He graduated in 1983 from Blue Hills Regional Technical School, where he first became interested in space exploration.

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When he was 16, Tingle joined a band and played gigs in Boston and Providence.

Tingle earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1987 from the UMass Dartmouth, known then as Southeastern Massachusetts University, graduating magna cum laude. He earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1988.

Tingle was commissioned a Naval officer in 1991, serving as a Naval aviator, and one of the first to respond to the September 11 attacks. From there, he served in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Selected by NASA in July 2009 as one of the nine members of the 20th NASA astronaut class, Tingle spent 168 days, 5 hours, and 18 minutes aboard the International Space Station as a flight engineer on Expeditions 54 and 55 from December 17, 2017, to June 3, 2018.

Tingle is married to Raynette Mahelona. The couple has three children.

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