International Women's Day Profile: NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) - NASA astronaut Jessica Meir may have walked in space, but she grew up right here in New England. Meir was raised in Caribou, Maine, and she thinks growing up in a town with a big sky and lots of stars pushed her to follow her current path.

Meir made history as one of the women to take part in the first all-female spacewalk last October. She says she was caught up in doing her job and keeping her teammates safe during the spacewalk, and that "...Only after the event did I start thinking more about the historical significance and what it meant, and now it very much does mean a lot to me," she said.

She calls her childhood in Maine "wonderfully enjoyable," and said the wide-openness of her upbringing played a part in "stimulating and igniting this desire to explore."

Meir traveled to the International Space Station as part of Expedition 61 and 62, spending a total of 205 days in space. She was originally selected to become an astronaut in June 2013, as part of NASA's 21st class.

Meir says she was "shocked" by the amount of enthusiasm there was on the ground for the historic spacewalk.

She describes the view from space as "Quite difficult to put into words," but that described it as "darker blue... fading out into lighter and lighter blue until it fades into that blackness of space..."

When she looked back at the earth, Meir remembers being impressed by the the earth's magnitude.

"You're thinking, 'everyone I know, every place I've ever been, every experience I've ever had is down there.'"

WBZ'S Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) has more:

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(Photo: NASA File Photo)

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