To some awe-struck fans, their dreams of driving an Indy car are an out-of-this-world experience.
For Conor Daly and JR Hildebrand, driving an race car in the Verizon IndyCar Series is an orbital experience what they do for a living.
Earlier this week in Houston, on Tuesday, Daly and Hildebrand enjoyed a REAL out of this world experience as they visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
The day-long visit was an exceptional trip for the two drivers, who hung out with robots, did a virtual tour of the International Space Station, saw mockups of the Space Shuttle and more.
But the best part for the duo was the opportunity to have a live 10-minute conversation with astronauts Tim Kopra, Jeff Williams and Tim Peake.
“Man, I wanna go to space,” Daly said, via IndyCar.com. Of note, the driver of the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda also went to “Space Camp” prior to the series’ most recent round at Barber Motorsports Park.
Added Hildebrand, “Ultimately, you end the day feeling overwhelmed about how much amazing stuff you got to see.”
Later, as their trip came to an end, the drivers were more than just appreciative. They left the JSC in a kind of awe that they’ll likely feel for a long time to come.
“Right away we were able to find common ground on things that we do compared to things that they do,” Hildebrand said. “Coming from the motorsports community, there is so much crossover in terms of the way that things happen at NASA.”
Added Daly, “This is probably one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
Check out some of the many tweets both drivers and their new friends, the astronauts in the ISS, posted, as well as tweets of others including Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles: