Space Foundation News

Astronaut Jim Reilly to Speak at Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy

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Astronaut Jim Reilly to Speak at Jack Swigert Aerospace AcademyCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sep. 29, 2009) -- The Space Foundation’s education outreach is taking its student astronaut program to the Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy on Friday, Oct. 2. Former NASA astronaut and Colorado Springs resident James F. Reilly, II, Ph.D., will speak to the students about his experiences in space.

"This is a rare opportunity for students to hear an astronaut share Space Shuttle experiences,” said Iain Probert, Space Foundation vice president of education. “We thank Dr. Reilly for generously donating his time to inspire these young people.”

Reilly will make three presentations in the school auditorium: 8:45 – 9:35 a.m. for seventh graders; 9:45 a.m. – 10:30 for eighth graders; and 10:40 – 11:25 p.m. for sixth graders.

The Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy, 4220 East Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs, is a new aerospace-themed middle school created through a partnership between the Space Foundation and Colorado Springs (Colo.) School District 11 (D-11), with more than 500 students, and onsite support from the Space Foundation.

The curriculum, which is collaboratively developed by the Space Foundation and D-11, uses space and aerospace themes and principles to teach a broad range of subjects, with focus on improving students’ proficiency in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

Reilly Flew Three Shuttle Missions
Reilly has a Master of Science degree in geosciences and a doctorate in geosciences, both from the University of Texas-Dallas. He was selected for NASA’s astronaut program in December 1994. During his time at NASA, he worked on systems development, materials and vehicle engineering, and human factors projects for both the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle. Reilly flew on STS-89 in 1998, STS-104 in 2001 and STS-117 in 2007. He logged more than 853 hours in space, including five spacewalks totaling 31 hours and 10 minutes. He has more than 2,000 hours of high-performance flight time in various NASA aircraft. Reilly retired from NASA in May 2008.