NASA - Dryden Flight Research Center - News Room: News Releases: ASTRONAUT APPEARANCE TO HIGHLIGHT "NASA DAY" AT L.A. COUNTY FAIR
ASTRONAUT APPEARANCE TO HIGHLIGHT "NASA DAY" AT L.A. COUNTY FAIR
September 15, 2003
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NASA astronaut Tracy E. Caldwell will discuss her life as a member of NASA's astronaut corps during two special presentations Sept. 23 at the Los Angeles County Fair.
Caldwell's appearance will highlight "NASA Day" at the fair, centered around the NASA Centennial of Flight exhibit, part of the fair's "High Flying Fun" exhibition at this year's fair at the Fairplex in Pomona. Caldwell, a native of the Los Angeles area, will be giving two presentations in the theater area of the NASA exhibit. The first presentation is scheduled for about 11:15 a.m. and the second at about 3:45 p.m. Both programs will be about 45 minutes long and will include time for a question-and-answer session. Caldwell's appearance at the fair is in keeping with one of NASA's primary goals outlined in the agency's mission statement: "To inspire the next generation of explorers." Her presentations will focus on her experiences while training to become an astronaut and her life as a member of NASA's astronaut corps.
Caldwell, 34, was accepted for astronaut training as a space shuttle mission specialist in 1998. After initial training, she has worked in various technical assignments until she is assigned to a space flight. Among those assignments, she was a crew support astronaut for the fifth International Space Station crew, serving as their representative for technical and operational issues during their expedition, and also served as space station communicator inside mission control at the Johnson Space Center at Houston, Texas.
Born in Arcadia, Caldwell grew up in Beaumont, graduating from Beaumont High School in 1987. She earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1993 from California State University at Fullerton and received her doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Davis in 1997. Her dissertation work focused on investigating molecular-level surface reactivity and kinetics of metal surfaces using electron spectroscopy, laser desorption and Fourier transform mass spectrometry techniques. She also performed additional graduate-level work in atmospheric chemistry at the University of California at Irvine.
Caldwell is a private pilot and is conversational in Russian and American Sign Language. Her recreational interests include a variety of athletic activities. She was the recipient of numerous honors and awards during her academic and professional career, and is a member of the Sigma Xi Research Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has presented her work in numerous papers at technical conferences and published in scientific journals.
NASA's Centennial of Flight exhibition forms the centerpiece of The Final Frontier, one of four venues at the fair's "High Flying Fun" exhibition. Entitled "Powering Flight, Powering Dreams," the 10,000-square-foot exhibit features information on NASA history as well as visions for the future.
Other components of the NASA exhibit include full size mock-ups of two of the International Space Station's modules and compartments and the Mad Science "Mission to Mars" stage show that features special effects, costumes, sets and audience participation.
For more information about the 2003 Los Angeles County Fair, visit the fair's web site at http://www.lacountyfair.com or call (909) 623-3111.
For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov.
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