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NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Jasmin Moghbeli visits Lenox Elementary in Baldwin, where she went to school

NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Jasmin Moghbeli visits Lenox Elementary
NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Jasmin Moghbeli visits Lenox Elementary 02:51

BALDWIN, N.Y. - "We knew her when." 

That's the sentiment of the Baldwin, Long Island community. 

The little girl who grew up among them is on her way to outer space. 

The decorated astronaut will be commanding the SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station. 

"The question is, am I going to be the first woman to step on the moon? The answer is, I don't know, I could be," said NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Jasmin Moghbeli. 

The moon, Mars - the sky's no longer the limit for the honored alumna of Lenox Elementary in Baldwin. 

"I'm so happy that I got to meet a real astronaut from this school," said fourth grader Garrett Mulligan. 

"I don't know if anyone slept. It was, like, the day before Lt. Col. Jasmine is coming to Lenox," said Sheilah Jefferson-Isaac, principal of Lenox Elementary. 

Less than 30 years ago, Moghbeli was immersed in learning at Lenox Elementary, followed by elite universities in Boston and California. 

She flew 150 combat missions and graduated from the selective NASA astronaut school, and soon - outer space. 

"I think one of the coolest things I'm excited about is weightlessness and floating," Moghbeli said. 

She inspired her school community with a crash course on rocket design, thrust-force-pull, how there's no gravity and how the space station moves 16 times a day. 

It was at Lenox Elementary Moghbeli first dreamed of being a space explorer, and wrote a book report about the first woman in space-delivered it to the class wearing a homemade spacesuit. 

"It's really wonderful to see her come back here where her dreams started, talking to the kids the same age she was," said Jasmine's mother Fereshteh Moghbeli. 

The family fled Iran in the 1980s and came to America knowing no one. The welcoming from Baldwin allowed Moghbeli to reach for the stars, she said. 

Her liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center is slated for August. 

"It will be to the International Space [Station] for six months. I will be the commander of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission," Moghbeli said. 

"Maybe Jasmine Moghbeli will be on the moon one day, and I would really like to enjoy being on the moon, too," said fourth grader Elliana Pierrot. 

"I still wake up and go 'I can't believe I'm actually a NASA astronaut.' Everything that you all do matters, and it matters right now," Moghbeli told the students. 

Her message: Aim high.

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