Astronaut candidate has local roots

Staff writer

After Tyler Nick Hague saw “Star Wars” with his dad, Don, when he was 4 years old, he wanted to be a space scientist. His dream is becoming a reality.

He will begin training as an astronaut candidate next month at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

It will be at least 18 months before he is flight ready. He told his mother, Beverly Elling Hague, daughter of the late Carl and Ruth Elling of Marion, that he expects to train for several years before going into space.

What’s a few more years? After graduating from Hoxie High School, he received a degree in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy and a master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He then became a test pilot engineer for the air force and recently served as deputy chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization at the Pentagon.

“Everything he has done in the military has taken him one step closer,” his mother said.

Hague said he didn’t pursue a career in the Air Force with a goal of becoming an astronaut, but his training has made this possible.

He credited his parents with keeping him interested in education. His mother is a schoolteacher, and she marveled at her son’s determination.

“I saw a little boy with a dream turn it into a goal and have it become a reality,” she said. “His dad and I are very proud. We know he will give it his all.”

Hague’s parents lived in Peabody from 1982 to 1989 when his father was principal at Peabody-Burns High School. He was in junior high when the family moved to Hoxie.

His parents now live in Gering, Neb.

Nick, his wife, Katie, and two children were looking at houses in Houston.

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