Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Presents Audience With an Astronaut™ at U.S. Air Force Academy

Written by: developer

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sept. 30, 2014) – On Friday, Oct. 10, the global celebration of World Space Week will conclude locally when more than 250 elementary and middle school students and educators fill the seats of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s (USAFA) Fairchild Hall auditorium for presentations by former NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Ph.D.

Media may attend these presentations and arrange interviews by contacting USAFA Public Affairs, John Van Winkle, 719.333.7593.

Celebrated globally each year Oct. 4-10, World Space Week was launched by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 with the purpose of celebrating “the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.” The 2014 theme is “Space: Guiding Your Way,” highlighting the benefits of satellite navigation to society.

The Space Foundation is bringing Chiao to Colorado Springs to share his experiences as a Space Shuttle astronaut and resident of the International Space Station (ISS). Based in Houston, Chiao is the Space Foundation’s special advisor – human spaceflight. 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 a half months.

The USAFA and the Space Foundation share an interest in using space to inspire school children’s interest in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — and both organizations have programs that support STEM education.

The Oct. 10 event at USAFA will include presentations of the Academy’s popular Physics is Phun and a shortened version of its Chemistry Magic Show, plus a hybrid rocket demonstration. The Cadet STEM Club will be showing off the space operations and will be at the demonstrations.

The Space Foundation’s Audience With an Astronaut™ program brings astronauts to speak to the classes of Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons nationwide. Teachers are selected for the program for their integration of space themes in the classroom. The Space Foundation is now accepting online applications for Teacher Liaisons through Dec. 5 at

About the U.S. Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is the number one undergraduate only institution for research funding in the United States. The Academy is responsible for developing tomorrow’s Air Force leaders through a rigorous academic environment, teaching students to think critically, act decisively and respond agilely in a complex, uncertain world.

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, has a public Discovery Center including the El Pomar Space Gallery and the Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere®, and is a member of the American Alliance of Museums. The Space Foundation has a field office in Houston, and conducts government affairs from its Washington, D.C., office. It annually publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity and through its Space Certification™ and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, the Space Foundation recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and read our e-newsletter Space Watch.