Texas A&M Galveston's Training Vessel Comes to Port Canaveral
Former astronaut, Col. Mike Fossum, now COO at Texas A&M Galveston, returns to Space Coast
Cadets of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy will be visiting Port Canaveral as part of their 2017 summer training cruises. The academy’s training ship TS General Rudderwill be sailing into Port Canaveral with 50 cadets training for ocean related careers as officers aboard cruise ships, freighters, tankers, tugs and other oceangoing ships.
When and Where
The ship will arrive Tuesday morning, June 13, 2017 at 9 a.m. It will dock at the Cruise Terminal 3, 220 Christopher Columbus Drive, Cape Canaveral. Cruise Terminal 3 is public and the news media is allowed to enter without port credentials. Media tours of the ship and interviews with cadets, including several Spanish speaking cadets, and the captain will be available. This would be a great live opportunity for midday newscasts and arrangements can be made for early evening newscasts as well. The cadets can tell you about life aboard the ship, the training they are receiving and their future careers as officers in the maritime industry.
The Return of Former Astronaut Col. Mike Fossum
Greeting the ship and available for interviews will be former NASA astronaut Col. Michael Fossum who is now the chief operating officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Fossum worked for NASA since 1993. He was selected as an astronaut in 1998 and is a veteran of three space flights, two aboard the space shuttle and two back to back missions aboard the International Space Station, with one of those as commander. He has logged more than 194 days in space, including more than 48 hours in seven spacewalks. He recently retired from NASA, serving in his most recent role as assistant chief for the International Space Station in the Astronaut Office.
The Maritime Academy
The Texas A&M Maritime Academy is one of only six state maritime academies in the nation that prepares students for practical experience in seamanship, navigation and shipboard engineering. It is not widely known, but most all of these students, upon graduation with their 3rd Mate’s officer’s license, are hired right out of college, many with six figure starting salaries.
High Demand Career Opportunities
Today there is a severe shortage of officers in the maritime industry. Therefore, it is with little wonder that these students are in high demand and that these careers are so lucrative when you realize that 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water and 90 percent of world trade is waterborne.
The Interesting Past of TS General Rudder
The ship began its career as an antisubmarine vessel located in the North Atlantic. In later years, she became the flagship training vessel of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The ship gained worldwide attention in 1999 when she was the first vessel to arrive at the crash site of Egypt Air Flight 990 off Nantucket Island. In addition to training midshipmen, she has served every branch of the Armed Forces. The ship has hosted secretaries of transportation, senators and congressmen. It also served as the Department of Transportation’s official platform for the 2000 Tall Ships Parade in New York.
General Earl Rudder
In 2013, the ship was named the TS General Rudder in honor of General Earl Rudder who led the Army’s Rangers at Pointe du Hoc during the D-day invasion and later became the president of Texas A&M University. During his tenure as president, the college diversified, opening its doors to African-Americans, formally admitting women, created the Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston and the Texas state legislature officially renamed the school Texas A&M University. Since that time, Texas A&M has flourished to become one of the nation's premier research universities.
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