Astronaut, St. John's alum inspires students with live Q & A from space

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in space? 

What better way to find out, according to a couple hundred students at St. John's University, than by going straight to the source. 

As an alum of the school, U.S. astronaut and current resident of the International Space Station Mark Vande Hei had the opportunity to videochat with some current students Tuesday who were interested in the ins and outs of life without gravity.

"My most exciting experiences have been the space walks," Vande Hei said during the talk. "The combination of fear and intense focus you have to have when you are doing those."

Over the course of the more than an hour-long discussion topics ranged from overly scientific to quite simple, including ample demonstrations of what's possible in a zero-gravity environment.

"What will I miss most about being in space?" fellow astronaut and ISS resident Scott Tingle asked. "For me it's floating around. Imagine being very young and wanting to fly and then one day you grow up and you find out you can. I will miss not being able to this on a daily basis."

For some the cosmic question and answer session left a lasting impression. Who knows, maybe it will inspire someone in the audience to follow in their footsteps.

"It was such an amazing opportunity," said St. John's senior Steven Pfahning. "The odds are crazy [Vande Hei] made it. But to see someone from here make that leap, it shows you there is a path there. If given the opportunity, I'd take it."

Vande Hei is scheduled to return back down to Earth next week.