AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some bright minds received an out of this world inspirational message at Kealing Middle School Friday.

Former Longhorn and NASA Astronaut Greg Johnson visited the school to get students to consider a future they might not have otherwise, working in outer space.

“It’s really the next frontier,” Johnson said. “It’s going to evolve in their lifetimes in ways that we can’t even contemplate.”

Johnson says it’s important for young Americans to get interested soon, because, he believes, the United States is losing ground compared to other countries. He says a lot of jobs are being outsourced to other countries and American talent is being left behind.

“We’ve been leaders in the space program. It’s important for our next generation to be involved and engaged and those innovators in that next chapter of space travel.”

Johnson was the pilot during the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour and the penultimate flight of the Space Shuttle Program.