San Francisco space enthusiast invited to watch shuttle launch 

Kathryn Hill, the 38-year-old Web art director and San Francisco resident, was one of 150 @NASA Twitter followers randomly invited to witness the final launch of space shuttle Endeavor today and Friday. The launch is scheduled for 12:47 p.m. Friday.

What first sparked your interests in space exploration? My dad has subscribed to National Geographic [magazine] since 1967 and he still has every issue on these huge shelves in his den. Growing up, on rainy days, I’d sit on the floor and read his National Geographics, which usually had articles about space exploration and astronomy.

What was the feeling of being chosen to watch the launch? I was shocked! I didn’t think I’d get picked.

You’ve been partially deaf since age 3. Tell me about that and your experiences growing up. I had meningitis when I was 3½ years old. I’m kind of unusual because I don’t sign and I grew up in the hearing community, not the deaf community. I never went to a deaf school. I took a lot of speech therapy growing up; I hated it, but it was worth it.

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