NASA Astronaut Returns To Richland

Kayla Barron



After nearly 6 months on the International Space Station, Kayla Barron from Richland is back on earth and is visiting her hometown – inspiring kids to think about their future. 

Kayla Barron is on a whirl-wind tour of the Tri-Cities, speaking to school kids and STEM teachers: talking about her mission as part of the crew of NASA space program. 

Barron says, “I spent 177 days aboard the space station as part of the Expedition 66 and 67 crew. And we were really lucky that we had an incredible mission profile, we got to experience the full range of space station operations.”


Team Patch from Mission

Richland is home to Barron and one of her stops was her  old school, Richland High. The 2006 graduate spent some time with with her favorite Chemistry teacher, Mr. Spencer, who always believed in her and helped her self-confidence. 

Besides seeing her high school and family, she’s also doing meet and greets. And she tells everyone about her day-to-day life when she was on the Space Station.  And Kayla Barron is also  looking ahead  to her team’s plans for the Artemis’ futures missions. 

woman speaking to students

Kayla Barron with school kids at REACH

She is also encouraging the students to ask themselves questions such as, what are your passions? Who can help you reach your goals?

Barron continues:  “What are the most challenging things I can be doing to develop the skills that I’m going to need to take on the next challenge? And who do I want standing next to me when things get hard? What does your team look like? Because if you’re going to do challenging things, if you’re going to take risks, you really want the right people around you for those moments of struggle.”


Kayla Barron

Those are some of the questions she asked herself as she entered the Naval Academy and then joined the Submarine Force, and ultimately applied to NASA. Now she is working with Artemis, on the next manned mission to the moon  and “Maybe” she’ll be the first woman there.