Fourteen astronauts will descend on the Virginia Peninsula March 17-18 to learn more about research being conducted at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton.
A bonus for area students, this current class of astronaut candidates will also visit schools in Hampton, Newport News, York County and Poquoson.
News media are invited to attend a news conference at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 17, in the NASA Langley newsroom. Interested media may call Margarette Lynch at 864-6124 by 3 p.m. March 16 to make arrangements for entry on to the Center.
Media are also invited to attend programs across the Peninsula where the astronaut candidates will interact with area students:
Thursday, March 17, 10:30-12:30
Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton
Moton Elementary School, Hampton
Friday, March 18, 9:30-11:30
Yorktown Elementary School, York County
Poquoson Elementary School, Poquoson
Gildersleeve Middle School, Newport News
The eleven NASA astronauts and three Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts were announced in May during a Space Day celebration at the National Air and Space Museum. The class of 2004 will be the first focused from the very beginning on realizing the new Vision for Space Exploration. The class includes pilots, mission specialists and three mission specialist-educator astronauts, teachers who will help ensure there's always a next generation primed to explore.
Candidates with local ties include Dr. Bobby Satcher, who was born in Hampton and attended school at Moton Elementary and Spratley Middle School; Chris Cassidy, a Navy SEAL who trained in Norfolk; Dr. Tom Marshburn, who among his many degrees holds a master's in engineering physics from the University of Virginia.
Image above: NASA's 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class.
Mission Specialist-Educator Joe Acaba: A 36-year-old teacher at Dunnellon Middle School in Florida and a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.
Mission Specialist-Educator Ricky Arnold: A 40-year-old math and science teacher at the American International School of Bucharest, Romania, and has also taught in Morocco, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Pilot Randy Bresnik: A 36-year-old Marine Corps major, F/A-18 pilot and experimental test pilot.
Mission Specialist Chris Cassidy: A 34-year-old Navy Seal who was stationed in Norfolk and has also done two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Pilot Jim Dutton: A 35-year-old U.S. Air Force major and F/A-22 test pilot who flew combat air patrols over northern Iraq in the 1990s.
Mission Specialist Jose Hernandez: A 41-year-old engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center who grew up as a migrant farm worker before settling in Stockton, CA.
Mission Specialist Shane Kimbrough: A 36-year-old U.S. Army major and flight simulation engineer at NASA Johnson who served as a platoon leader in an Apache helicopter company during Desert Storm.
Mission Specialist Tom Marshburn: A 43-year-old flight surgeon at NASA Johnson who is also an avid mountain climber and a private pilot.
Mission Specialist-Educator Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger: A 29-year-old science teacher at Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, WA, who was a championship runner in college.
Mission Specialist Bobby Satcher, Jr.: A 38-year-old MD and orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago who grew up in Hampton and has done charity medical work overseas.
Mission Specialist Shannon Walker: A 38-year-old Ph.D. and manager at NASA Johnson who has lived and worked in Russia and is an avid private pilot.
and, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts:
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