Catholic High Alum helps make space history

Dr. Keith Comeaux visits with Catholic High students
Dr. Keith Comeaux visits with Catholic High students

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Catholic High alumnus has made recent history, and he's back in town to tell about it. Dr. Keith Comeaux was a part of the team that landed the curiosity rover on Mars in August. Wednesday he shared history to students at his alma mater.

Nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Keith Comeaux sat in assemblies at Catholic High School. Wednesday was the his story was the reason for the assembly at the school.

"Catholic High provided me an awesome education when I was here, and this is my small way of giving back to the community for giving me such a great education," said Comeaux.

His schooling was the start of his path to NASA, where he now works on space exploration missions. Quite a feat, according to students at his alma mater.

"It was motivating. It was just good to see someone who's walked where we walked, and went to the same classes that we're going to right now and see him really excel," said Joseph St. Cyr, a senior at Catholic High.

Comeaux's success in space exploration was broadcast across the world in August when he and a team of scientists successfully launched the rover "Curiosity" to the planet Mars.

"Since we can't bring a rocket back from Mars, we brought our laboratories from Earth to Mars to study the rocks on Mars," said Comeaux. "So what does come back are the data that's radioed back to Earth."

But Comeaux did not come back to his Baton Rouge to toot his own horn. He says he's here to deliver an important message.

"I think math and science are important components of our economy and our future for the United States. So it's my hope that I've encouraged some students to pursue that.," said Comeaux.

For some students that message really stuck.

"Math and science classes are the hardest classes that I'm taking, but the presentation today kind of related them to the real world and allowed me to know the importance of my classes," said George Jeha, a senior at Catholic High.

Comeaux will speak at LSU on Thursday. He says it's nice taking a break from living his life on "Martian time". The days on Mars are 40 minutes longer than on Earth.

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