WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - While most of us spent time crowded around our televisions watching space shuttles blast into space, Purdue graduate student Matt Wierman had a much different experience.
"I had the pleasure of being able to see the shuttle lift off on TV, stand up, walk outside my front door and see it lift over my neighbor's trees," said Wierman.
A native of Cape Canaveral, Florida, Wierman always knew he wanted to explore space and that's what brought him to Purdue University.
Wierman works at Zucrows Laboratories where he specializes in combustion stability.
"I would like to go work for one of the many companies that exists in our field that now, are making rocket engines that are in operation," said Wierman.
Yet, defense jobs like the one Wierman is shooting for could be in danger with the looming budget cuts.
Senator Joe Donnelly said defense jobs and human services jobs will be affected most by the sequester, but it's something he'd like to change.
"If it just falls on defense, or it just falls on human services, you cut so far, that we put ourselves behind," said Donnelly. "So, if we take a more common sense approach, which is to spread it out over other areas as well, we'll be a lot better off and I"m trying to get that accomplished."
Wierman said he hopes the sequester won't get in the way of accomplishing his dreams, but he knows it's a possibility.
"The larger concerns are a big thing," said Wierman. "You know, there won't be a demand to understand the combustion process, if we don't have the money to build the rockets."
No matter what, Wierman said he's still going to continue to reach for the stars and become something out of this world.
"I would actually like to be one of the Purdue astronauts," said Wierman.
Donnelly was at Zucrows Laboratory on Monday, visiting with students.
When asked what he thought about the lab, he said it soared far beyond his expectations, but he said that's only to be expected from a university like Purdue.
A Purdue football player was arrested for alcohol-related offenses over the weekend.
As temperatures drop, the use of homeless shelters go up.
The Attica Police Department is investigating after a 1-year-old Pit Bull is shot in her family's backyard.