CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton, with its deep roots in aviation history, is now reaching new heights thanks to entrepreneur Larry Connor.

Connor, the founder of The Connor Group, will make history as the first private pilot to reach the International Space Station (ISS). His former classmates from Archbishop Alter High School organized a watch party for Friday’s SpaceX Axiom Launch.

“It’s just totally amazing to see. We’ve known him all these years and to see him go do something like that, it’s exciting,” Coni Dalhamer, a former classmate, said.

His classmates could not have been more proud to see their friend embark on such an historic mission.

“It’s a great thing for our community and it’s a tribute to Larry for sure, and it’s also a great tribute to our class of ’68,” Sue Reichert, another classmate, said.

Connor will spend the next 10 days in space, conducting research and experiments on the International Space Station. He will also get the chance to speak with students in Dayton while on the ISS.

While Connor continues to break barriers and soar to new heights, his friends will always remember him for his generosity and kindness.

“I’m proud to know him because he is such a good man, a generous gentleman, they don’t come any better,” Susanne Vulgamore, a former classmate, said.