Prosper resident Victor Glover Sr., says that to any child with a dream, his son, Commander Victor Glover Jr. is the perfect example to follow.
“He probably would have been 8 years old, it was a long time ago, when he was in elementary school, and he saw a shuttle launch,” he recalls. “After seeing that, he said, ‘I’d like to fly that.’ From there the dream started.”
In Florida, on Nov. 15, 2020, Glover Sr. watched his son pilot the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule “Resilience” into the sky and out of the atmosphere, heading toward the International Space Station for a six-month mission.
“I was awestruck,” he says. “At the viewing area, there was a lot of family and friends, cheering, whistling, and clapping. I was transfixed on the rocket, watching it take off. I thought about my son sitting on top of that. So I wasn’t hooting and hollering. I was watching, tears running down my cheeks.
“My face mask was soaking wet by the time the rocket disappeared. I was just in awe of that moment and how proud I was of my son.”
Commander Victor Glover Jr., 44, is almost one month into a six-month deployment at the International Space Station. The launch represents the first long-term, contracted, fully operational astronaut mission to the International Space Station for NASA.
Victor launched with Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They launched on the 15th and docked late on the 16th. They will spend six months doing experiments before returning home. Glover Sr. says Victor will be home in time to see his daughter, the oldest of four girls, graduate from high school.
Victor is also the first Black long-term resident of the ISS. “It is something to be celebrated once we accomplish it, and I am honored to be in this position and to be a part of this great and experienced crew,” he said in a recent news interview. “And I look forward to getting up there and doing my best to make sure, you know, we are worthy of all the work that’s been put into setting us up for this mission.”
Glover Sr. has had the privilege of watching his son’s dream develop his whole life. “I always told both my boys that nothing can stop you from accomplishing what you want to do, except yourself.”
Growing up in Southern California, Victor discovered a natural talent for mathematics. In high school, he tutored other students, and even worked as a teacher’s aide. He majored in engineering. “He would tell me, ‘I’m going to make something that’s going to change the world,’” Victor Sr. says. “Look at him now.”
After college, came the U.S. Navy, where he worked on his qualifications, becoming a pilot, and learning to fly various air crafts, until he — along with about 60,000 other people — applied to become an astronaut.
Glover Sr. still remembers the 2013 day that he got his answer.
“I was playing golf,” he says, “He sent me a text, which was surprising. He always called me. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking that things aren’t going well.”
Victor Jr. had applied in Feb. 2013, but the wait was long and nerve-wracking. He knew he was one of 50 finalists. At the time, he was doing a Navy fellowship based in Washington D.C.
After the game, Glover Sr. found a quiet corner at the club and called his son. “He said, ‘Dad, I wanted to let you know we’re moving to Houston.’ That’s how he told me.”
Victor was one of only 8 astronauts who made the 2013 class.
Glover Sr. moved to McKinney when Victor was in college, and 15 years later, settled in Prosper. He jokes that it’s nice to have his son and his family stationed in the same state—barring trips to space, of course. Jennette and Victor, Sr. were recently hosted by the Prosper Town Council and presented with a Blue Star flag, denoting that a family member is on active military duty.
Just yesterday, in fact, the Glovers received more good news. NASA announced the 18 astronauts chosen for the Artemis program, NASA’s efforts to go back to the moon in 2024. Victor will be one of them.
Despite the distance between them, Glover Sr. talks to his son every few days on the phone, and says that Victor is having the time of his life. “He is ecstatic; he really enjoys the food.” Victor is part of a food physiology study, so he logs everything he eats, and says it’s much better than the days where astronauts relied on MREs. “Today, they have a NASA kitchen, and send them better tasting food, nutritious food while they’re on the station.”
He adds that he thinks about him all the time. “There’s not a second that I’m not thinking about him. It’s hard to get anything done when that’s on your mind,” he says. “He’s on my mind and in my heart, and it’s so exciting when he calls and we have a chance to talk to him. It’s like a normal phone call. He’s up there orbiting above the earth but it’s like he’s around the corner. It does my heart good.”
Victor says that the videos and pictures they see of his view from the station don’t do it justice. The station orbits the earth every 90 minutes, and he says that the view from the Cupola, the observatory module of the International Space Station, is incredible.
“We get to live through my son,” Glover Sr. says. “He tells me that he can look left and see South American, then to his right and see the big, blue ocean. He says the colors are incredible.”