New Castle News

Closer Look

June 24, 2013

Meet Andrew Morgan, Part 2: New Castle’s astronaut achieved childhood dream

NEW CASTLE — As an elementary school student, Andrew Morgan dreamed of being an astronaut.

“But as you grow, you move on to more realistic goals,” he said. “Later I knew that I wanted to be a doctor in the military.”

He never lost sight of that second goal, nor his original one. Ultimately, he achieved both.

The man who refers to New Castle as home is part of NASA’s 2013 class of eight astronauts.

His parents, Richard and Janice Morgan, live in Neshannock Township. They’ve spent all their lives there, except for the 24 years that Richard served in the Air Force while Andrew and his two brothers were growing up.

Janice Morgan said her eldest son always was interested in space.

“He drew of lot of pictures about it and was very much into Star Wars,” she said.

As a youngster, Morgan visited Johnson Space Center with his family. A family photograph shows Janice with sons Andrew and Ben holding toy space shuttles.

Morgan’s not playing with toy spaceships anymore.

“Do I relish that thought of Andrew being shot into space?” asks his mom. “As a mother, I worry, but I know that’s what he wants to do.

“I trust the Lord. That’s where I find my solace.”

Janice Morgan knew that the odds were against her son, as they were for each of the 6,100 candidates for the eight positions.

“He kept telling me that it would be a longshot, but he kept making it through each step,” she said. “When Andrew sets his mind to pursue something, he goes after it whole heartedly.”

NASA last added to its astronaut numbers in 2009, and before that, in 2004.

Janice Morgan was overwhelmed emotionally by her son’s phone call, bringing her to tears.

Richard Morgan was proud, but not surprised.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • Local pastor helping fire victims

    A local pastor is opening up donation avenues to help two families who lost their homes to fire this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • First Energy to replace transmission line

    FirstEnergy Corp. has plans to rebuild a power transmission line between the West Pittsburg plant and a Mahoningtown substation.

    April 18, 2014

  • school.jpg Union to return assistant principal post

    The Union Area School District will have a new administrator when the 2014-15 school year starts. The board voted 8-0 Wednesday night to hire an assistant principal. Debra Allebach was absent.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Calen.tiff Callen gets state honors

    Robert Callen has been selected to receive a state award for his contribution to local government in Pennsylvania. Callen, 58, executive director of the Lawrence County Regional Council of Governments, received the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miller.jpg Wilmington superintendent discusses common core

    The Wilmington district has no reason to fear new Pennsylvania Core standards, superintendent Dr. Michelle Miller said. She talked about the standards to approximately two dozen residents at the school board’s monthly pre-meeting Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shreck.tiff Schreck reappointed Shenango superintendent

    Dr. Michael Schreck has been reappointed as Shenango’s superintendent for a five-year term. The school board approved his reappointment by an 8-0 vote Monday. Nicholas Manolis was absent.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Congressional candidate disqualified

    Commonwealth Court has removed a Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat from the May 20 primary ballot. Judge Bernard L. McGinley has invalidated the nomination petitions of Mel A. Marin of Sharon.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Up through the ground comes education cash

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Shenango passes tax abatement

    Shenango Township supervisors unanimously approved a tax abatement for Blackwatch Properties LLC when they met Thursday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage