Levi Warner flew to India with his family on a mission trip several years back.
In between watching videos on the long flight, he got to thinking about the plane itself.
"I was wondering how it stayed up," he said. "I thought, how does it fly?"
So he did some research, sparking a deep passion for aeronautics — one that could lead him to a heavenly career.
Warner, 18, who graduated this week from Delta High School in Pasco, heads to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall.
He'll study aerospace engineering at the school's Arizona campus, with hopes of eventually joining NASA or SpaceX.
His dream is to help make affordable commercial space flight a reality.
"It's interesting to think about taking a vacation by going to the moon," he said. "It'd be (something)."
Warner, the son of Jeremy and Kayla Warner of Pasco, credits Delta High with helping prepare him for a bright future.
The school — which draws students from around the Tri-Cities and infuses science, technology, engineering and math throughout its curriculum — became a place for him to feel at home while he learned and dreamed, he said.
"I really like Delta. It's a great school. I really feel like I fit in here," he said.
Principal Jenny Rodriquez said Warner made a mark at the school.
"He is well-liked by his peers and also well-loved by the staff because he is not just a good student, he is also a genuinely good person. He is always kind to others," she said, adding that, "we're excited to see him launch into his life."
For Warner, that launch will be a little nerve-racking — transitions can be hard, he said.
But they can be exciting, too.
The 18-year-old, who participated in Delta's robotics club and did an internship at JUB Engineers in Kennewick, said the idea of working behind-the-scenes on something as momentous as space flight is thrilling.
Astronauts may make the news, but engineers make the rockets.
"For me, designing the rockets that will get people to space — I'll feel a little more helpful in that area," he said. "I'm making the things that are getting them up there and keeping them safe."