Bell County, TX (FOX 44) — For Black History Month, the Bell County Museum started it’s spring lecture series Friday evening with a special guest.

It’s Temple native, Dr. Bernard A. Harris Junior, the first African-American astronaut to complete a spacewalk with NASA.

Dr. Harris came to Temple to speak on the space economy.

He says this is an important topic to discuss as more companies start to work on space projects and tests.

“We’ll have orbiting laboratories, platforms, hotels, so people be able to, you know, vacation or work in space which is more important,” said Harris.

As companies increase their activities in space, the second half of Harris’ presentation was on education in STEM.

“If you believe me in that we’re going to have this economy in space, who is going to be qualified to be there? Who are going to be the workers,” said Harris. “That’s going to be the workers that are involved in STEM. Science, technology, engineering, mathematics.”

Bell County Museum Executive Director Coleman Hampton says he invited Harris to start this lecture series to inspire others in our area.

“I think for the young people in this area, my hope is that they see someone like Dr. Harris, and it helps them believe that we can do this too, or anything is possible,” said Hampton.

An accomplished astronaut, doctor, and now the CEO of the Math and Science Initiative, Harris spreads this message in hopes that Central Texas takes advantage of this concept he believes is the future of humanity.

“Everybody thinks if you’re in Houston maybe you should be more relatable to space, but no, space encompasses every region in this country, including Central Texas,” said Harris.

For anyone coming to Harris’ presentation he leaves the audience to remember that anything is possible.

“If I could do it coming from Temple, Texas, and do the college stuff that went off and all the travels and end up in space, then if it’s a kid I’m talking to then they can do it, too,” said Harris.

The next lecture for the Bell County Museum will be on April 14.

Each presentation is free to the community.