Leland Melvin has the best official NASA photo ever. But you know what’s even more amazing? His inspiring story!
After being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986, Melvin’s football career was cut short due to several injuries. Instead of giving up, Melvin tackled a new challenge: getting into space. He began working for NASA in 1989 and has logged more than 565 hours in space over the course of his career.
If that wasn’t enough, Melvin is the only person–in history–to have been drafted into the NFL and fly in space. But he didn’t make it to the International Space Center because of his football skills.
Melvin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, a Master’s degree in materials science engineering, and four honorary doctorates for his service in education, the sciences and philanthropy.
As a NASA researcher and astronaut, Melvin is passionate about getting kids excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education, and has even taken his talents to Sesame Street.
These days, Melvin can be seen on Lifetime’s show, “Child Genius” or speaking about science, photography, technology, and of course, space.
Take a look: