Space Foundation Press Releases

NASA Astronaut to Share Space Stories with the Public

Written by: developer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 28, 2013) – Two Audience with an Astronaut programs featuring former NASA Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February. Co-sponsored by the Colorado-based Space Foundation and the local Noel Wien Library, the programs will feature Chiao talking about his experiences as a Space Shuttle astronaut and as a resident of the International Space Station (ISS).

The two free sessions, which have identical content, will be held at the Noel Wien Library, 1215 Cowles Street, Fairbanks, on:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Seating is first-come, first-seated.

In addition, Chiao, two Space Foundation educators and the Space Foundation’s head of marketing and communications will be available for an informal “meet and greet” at Monroe Catholic High School on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. This free event is also open to the public

About Chiao
Educated as an engineer, Chiao works in business and academia, including serving as the special advisor – human spaceflight for the Space Foundation. He grew up in Danville, Calif., and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. A native English speaker, he also speaks Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

His Space Shuttle missions include:

  • STS-92 Discovery, Oct. 11-24, 2000
  • STS-72 Endeavour, Jan. 11-20, 1996
  • STS-65 Columbia, July 8-23, 1994

In addition, he flew as Flight Engineer 1 aboard Soyuz TMA-5 to the ISS, where he served as commander and NASA science officer for Expedition 10. He lived on the ISS for six and half months.

Chiao received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 2004. After a 15-year career with NASA, he left in 2005 to work and consult on a number of projects. In 2009, he served as a member of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee, and currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council. He holds appointments at Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine, and is involved in educational programs. An instrument-rated pilot, Chiao has logged over 2,900 flight hours in a variety of aircraft.

SPECIAL NOTE TO MEDIA: Chiao is available for one-on-one in-studio and on-location interviews. To schedule an interview Feb. 11-15, contact [email protected] or call Janet Stevens at 214-437-7618.

About the Space Foundation New Horizons Program in Fairbanks
The two Audience with an Astronaut sessions and the “meet and greet” are part of a program called New Horizons being presented by the Space Foundation in Fairbanks, Feb. 11-16. Other activities will include classes and presentations at local schools, community presentations and a workshop for teachers. In addition to Chiao, the visiting Space Foundation team will include Vice President Marketing and Communications Janet Stevens and Space Education Specialists Elias Molen and Amy Robinson. More information about other activities will be announced soon.

The program was made possible by local Immaculate Conception Grade School fourth-grade teacher Marci Ward, who raised community support for the program. Ward is a member of the Space Foundation’s prestigious Teacher Liaison group, which comprises about 270 extraordinary teachers from around the world who use space themes and principles in the classroom.

This is the third such program the Space Foundation has done in Fairbanks since 2007. Ward also arranged the program last year. This year’s event is enhanced by the Audience with an Astronaut sessions.

Local Sponsors Make Program Possible
The lead sponsors for New Horizons event are Pogo Mine and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Additional sponsors include the Chena Kiwanis Club, Denali State Bank, the Fairbanks Economic Development Corp., the Fairbanks Kiwanis Club, Fountainhead Development, Inc., Fort Knox Gold Mine, Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority, Judy and Johne Binkley, Mary Binkley and Grace Minder.

Additional sponsorships are available; interested individuals and organizations should contact [email protected].

About the Space Foundation
The foremost advocate for all sectors of the space industry and an expert in all aspects of space, the Space Foundation is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom and major industry events, including the National Space Symposium, all in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” The Space Foundation publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity and provides three indexes that track daily U.S. stock market performance of the space industry. Through its Space Certification™ and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, the Space Foundation recognizes space-based technologies and innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. The Space Foundation was founded in 1983 and is based in Colorado Springs, Colo. Its world headquarters features a public Visitors Center with two main areas – the El Pomar Space Gallery and the Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere®. The Space Foundation also conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office and has a field office in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter, and read about the latest space news and Space Foundation activities in Space Watch.

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