Texas Southern University will be represented well when alumnus Michael Strahan goes on a very important trip in Houston this weekend. This Saturday, the current host of Good Morning America, and former NFL star and will be blasting into space! Read the full story from Pooja Lodhia at local station ABC13 below to learn more about the student and professor that have been invited to witness when Strahan blasts off! It’s an opportunity that neither thought they would ever have.

Credit: ABC 13

When GMA host Michael Strahan blasts off on a Blue Origin rocket, one lucky student and one lucky professor from his alma mater will be there to watch.

“He told me, I was like, ‘Woah! Mind blown,'” laughed Angel Mata, a senior at Texas Southern University.

“I’m just completely blown away,” added aviation professor Ed Pataky. “I grew up with the space program. Never saw a launch, and now I get to do it.”

Texas Southern University is the only institution in the state that offers a four-year Aviation degree. At least 80 students are enrolled in the program.

“If you think about it, in some of these neighborhoods in Houston, you’re never going to get an opportunity to speak to a pilot or an aircraft mechanic,” explained TSU Director of Aviation Dr. Terence Fontaine.

Texas Southern is the only HBCU in the country with flight simulation programs.

Fontaine hopes the Blue Origin launch will inspire more students to pursue aviation – a field that has historically lacked diversity.

“It’s a beautiful field, aviation. I’ve loved it all my life, so just trying to give back and try to help these kids realize something I’ve realized my whole life,” Fontaine said. “For these kids to be able to talk to somebody like Michael, who walked the same hallway that he did, I think means a lot.”