SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. (CBS) – To help kick off World Space Week, NASA astronaut and Northeast Philadelphia native Chris Ferguson will speak tonight at the Franklin Institute.

The presentation was put together by the Franklin Institute and National Aerospace Training And Research (“Nastar”) Center, a local organization that trains astronauts and military pilots for flight.

Today, at the Nastar facility in Southampton (Bucks County), Pa., Ferguson reflected on the end of the space shuttle days and where his own career is headed.

“It hurts a little bit to see it,” Ferguson said of the end of the space shuttle program, “but we understand that we need to move beyond.  These things happen, and I’ve come to terms with it.”

What’s next for him?

“It’s a question of, do I stay with NASA?  We have this space launch system. The Orion is the crew vehicle portion for that. The space launcher itself is supposed to be this immense rocket.  Do I stay involved with that, or do I perhaps go out and…?  There’s four different commercial partners who are all vying for the opportunity to get Americans on a US rocket back up to the International Space Station.”

Ferguson adds that there is no place like home, and he always enjoys returning to Philadelphia.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060