Joe in Mission Control Houston - Manned Space Flight Operations Control room for the International Space Station
Joe Koronowski's journey through life continues to inspire others to go where few go - to reach deep inside to uncover their true self.
Imagine living your daily life on a farm, surrounded by nature and being responsible for many lives such as cows, pigs, cats and even the occasional goat. Then years later you've worked hard and find yourself as one of NASA's top Flight Controllers operating the International Space Station!
Years later I was in Mission Control Houston; responsible for more lives, but this time the lives are very brave Astronauts. Here I was responsible for their lives in the event that a catastrophic failure happens in the living quarters of the International Space Station during my watch.
Joe’s life has followed a wandering path, which didn't include a vision of NASA. As a matter of fact, an early college career assessment test had Joe pegged as a Tug Boat Operator!
Born in upstate NY, he's the “middle boy” of six kids. His sister gave him this title because she was the only girl with five brothers.
Joe fell down the cellar stairs at the age of at two, earning him a few stitches. When he was nine years old, he accidentally set himself on fire with diesel fuel! Challenged by school, he failed second grade and was branded “math challenged” in high school. There, he was not only sentenced to remedial math classes, but also forced to quit his favorite sports of soccer and wrestling because he was bullied.
Joe’s high energy and love for physical activity fit well when he discovered bodybuilding. This not only increased his muscle mass, but was also the beginning of the long path to grow his self-esteem. Even though bodybuilding, coupled with his love for the outdoors, was a great outlet for his enormous passion and energy, these outlets alone couldn't satisfy his intellectual hunger. His restless curiosity was searching for something to grab onto, and college was a natural fit.
Through a suggestion from a co-worker, Joe went back to school to pursue his second degree, Engineering. Texas A&M was the beginning of a journey that, on the surface seemed to be bright, but was almost ending before it was to begin. Even though Joe had almost an insatiable curiosity to learn, college was not easy for him. After his first semester he was failing out! He was faced with a very important crossroad in life. Most of us give up when life seems to be heading in the wrong direction, Joe chose differently, he chose to stay in college and dig deep!