SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) The University of Scranton had an out-of-this-world visitor Wednesday afternoon. He’s an astronaut with multiple spacewalks and expeditions under his belt.

Astronaut Doug Wheelock is a Flight Engineer and Astronaut for NASA. He credits his passion for space and all things moon-related back to watching the moon landings as a child.

“It’s what inspired me to look up and think about flying and think about going to space and exploring,” said Colonel Doug Wheelock, Nasa astronaut

And that passion led him to become an astronaut with more than a hundred and 70 days in space.

“It’s very exciting for me to now be at the other end of my career and be able to build these missions going back to the moon,” said Colonel Wheelock.

He says there’s a lot of excitement about the commercialization of space travel with more and more people able to make the journey.

“Were right at the beginning of really seeing this flourish,” said Colonel Wheelock.

One of the reasons for this visit to the University of Scranton and others is to help create a spark in individuals of any age. As the U.S. plans to return to the moon and beyond.

“All the way down to the wee little ones. It’s not too early to begin exposing them to these grand things that you can accomplish in the human existence,” said Colonel Wheelock.

He hopes that he can inspire the next generation of astronauts to visit the moon or even some of the first humans to land on Mars.

“I always have had this saying, to live your life with so much passion and so much energy and so much excitement that people can’t take their eyes off of you,” Colonel Wheelock said.

Wheelock says the Launch America Program to go back to the moon is going to be more inclusive for everyone, and he’s excited to see what the future holds.