The nine-year-old is one of the youngest high school graduates, receiving his diploma from Reach Cyber Charter School in Harrisburg, PA. After graduation, Balogun was invited by NASA and the Maryland-based Space Telescope Science Institute to visit the James Webb Space Telescope Mission Operations Center in Baltimore. His story made headlines and Hannah Braun, the institute’s spokesperson, said the team just had to meet him.
“I had actually seen David’s story all over social media and thought, ‘Wow, I’d bet he’d find a trip to Webb’s Mission Operations Center exciting!’” Braun said to Atlanta Black Star.
What they didn’t know was that he was going to teach them a thing or two, all without being on this earth for even 10 years yet. “We don’t have children visit the center really, besides families of employees on occasion, so the crew didn’t quite know what to expect with David.”
In his orange NASA space suit, the scientists, who provided the tour, were instantly impressed with the child’s knowledge of the science. In the Flight Control Room, Balogun watched them do a “mock-up for the soundcheck,” a process done with astronauts before they take off. Described as “inquisitive,” the young genius started talking about something they had never heard of before – Super Saturn. “What’s that?” Braun recalled asking. “So then we got to Googling.”
Balogun already has his career plans set, with his eyes set on being an astrophysicist, chemist, engineer, and software designer. But before that, he is prepping for college. Most would think Balogun would go to Harvard, but his father, Henry Balogun, is doing research on what the best fit will be. “Am I going to throw my nine-year-old into Harvard while I’m living in Pennsylvania? No.”