Bass Encourages Students in Math, Science

By | October 10, 2003 at 12:00 AM

After a highly publicized failed attempt last year, ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass still hopes to go into space one day.

And if a group of Houston middle school students has any say, Bass will do it in “Lance’s Lab” while eating chicken strips with salsa, wearing stylish pants and T-shirts and listening to and recording music to fight motion sickness.

On Wednesday, Bass visited Ortiz Middle School as part of World Space Week, which commemorates the Oct. 4, 1957, launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made satellite, and the Oct. 10, 1967, signing of a treaty that governs exploration and peaceful uses of space.

“Just stick with math and science and dream big,” Bass told nearly 40 students after hearing their proposal for “Lance’s Lab,” part of a national competition in conjunction with World Space Week, which takes place annually from Oct. 4-10. Bass was recruited to promote the importance of academics in preparation for space travel.

The 24-year-old also discussed the training he underwent while trying to secure a ride on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the international space station.

He would have been the youngest person ever in space, but had to cancel his plans to fly last October after failing to raise the estimated $20 million fare. A year ago, he trained at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“The training is very difficult, very physical,” Bass said. “There is also a lot of psychological training.”

One student asked whether Bass feared being abducted by aliens if he went to space.

“I’m not scared of any aliens,” he responded as students burst into laughter. “If there are aliens, I think they’ll be friendly.”

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