Rick Mastracchio, an astronaut who attended the University of Connecticut’s school of engineering, offered the program’s graduating students a different perspective when he gave their commencement speech 260 miles overhead.
The 54-year-old astronaut, who is currently doing an eight-month stint at the International Space Station, gave the pre-recorded address between two space suits while a UConn banner and UConn baseball cap floated behind him.
“I could not be there with you on this big day, but being in space I was trying to figure out how to make this speech different than all the other commencement addresses that are given each year,” he said. “And then I realized — I’m in a weightless environment. So maybe, I should give the speech in a different orientation.”
Mastracchio then floated briefly upside down, as the 400 graduates and crowd of about 5,000 laughed and cheered.
“I probably have the best job on and off the planet,” he said.