Retired NASA astronaut John Herrington said he felt “discombobulated,” nervous and a bit nauseous the first time he attempted to walk in space.

However, Herrington, whose talk about life in outer space kicked off the Year of Science at Vancouver Community College Thursday, was proud to report that he never got sick.

A member of the Chickasaw First Nation of Oklahoma, Herrington is the first and only Native American to venture into outer space, and holds his heritage in high esteem.

Among the cultural symbols he brought with him to the International Space Station space were an eagle feather and traditional flute, on which he played Amazing Grace while weightless in outer space.

“The response from the Native American community has been fabulous, and the governor (of Oklahoma) has been very supportive of my efforts,” he said.