Lehigh University students visit the 177th

Aeronautical engineering students from Lehigh University get a close up look at a 177th Fighter Wing F-16C Fighting Falcon during a base tour on April 3, 2013. (New Jersey Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

Aeronautical engineering students from Lehigh University get a close up look at a 177th Fighter Wing F-16C Fighting Falcon during a base tour on April 3, 2013. (New Jersey Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard Master Sgt. Andrew Moseley talks to aeronautical engineering professor Dr. Terry Hart from Lehigh University during a base tour on April 3, 2013. Hart is a former 177th Fighter Wing F-106 Delta Dart pilot, and was also a NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut. Moseley is the Multimedia Manager for the 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office. (New Jersey Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard Master Sgt. Andrew Moseley talks to aeronautical engineering professor Dr. Terry Hart from Lehigh University during a base tour on April 3, 2013. Hart is a former 177th Fighter Wing F-106 Delta Dart pilot, and was also a NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut. Moseley is the Multimedia Manager for the 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office. (New Jersey Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

Egg Harbor Township, N.J. -- Aeronautical Engineering seniors from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., were treated to a tour of the 177th Fighter Wing on April 3. Accompanying the students was their professor, Dr. Terry Hart, a former 177th unit member.

Hart began his career with the Air Force Reserve, but quickly transitioned to the New Jersey National Guard, flying the F-106 Delta Dart starting in 1973. By 1978, Hart had been accepted into the NASA Astronaut program, and was with the Mission Control Team for STS-1, STS-2, STS-3, and STS-7. In 1984, he flew as a mission specialist on STS-41C Challenger and logged 168 hours in space. 

The professor and his students got to check out an F-16C Fighting Falcon static display and were also given a hands-on look at the aircraft's propulsion system, something they had only seen simulations of in the classroom.

Hart retired in 1990 from the New Jersey Air National Guard with the rank of Lt. Col., and has been a professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Lehigh University, his alma mater, for seven years.