Astronaut Charlie Camarda will visit NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Thursday, Oct. 27, to share details of his recent adventure aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Camarda served as a mission specialist on Discovery's Return to Flight this summer. During the STS-114 mission, the shuttle docked with the international space station, and the crew tested and evaluated new shuttle inspection procedures and repair techniques.
Image to left: STS-114 astronauts Steve Robinson (left), Charlie Camarda (center) and Soichi Noguchi participate in Return to Flight training aboard NASA's KC-135 aircraft.
Along with meeting with local school children and reuniting with co-workers from his time as a researcher at NASA Langley, Camarda will present the annual Silver Snoopy awards to Langley employees. The Silver Snoopy is presented to civil service and contract employees who deserve special recognition for their outstanding efforts to ensure quality and safety for human space flight programs.
"I love to work with the engineers," said Camarda during a pre-flight interview. "I love to pat them on the back and tell them how much we appreciate what they're doing because they are really the unsung heroes. The real heroes, in my mind, are the engineers, all the people that are out there working on the vehicle, making sure that it’s safe."
Media are invited to a brief news conference with Camarda at 12:50 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. An opportunity for an interview will be available. Media interested in attending should contact Lindsay Crouch at 757-864-3189 or 757-870-6912 (mobile) by 10 a.m. Oct. 27, to arrange for entry onto the Center.
Camarda earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, a master's degree in engineering science from George Washington University and a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
He began his career at NASA Langley in 1974 as a research scientist in the Thermal Structures Branch of the Structures and Materials Division. In 1989, he was selected to lead the Structures and Materials Technology Maturation Team for the National Aero-Space Plane program and was later selected as head of the Thermal Structures Branch in 1994.
Camarda was selected as an astronaut candidate in April 1996 and reported to NASA Johnson Space Center in August 1996. He completed two years of training and evaluation before qualifying for flight assignment as a mission specialist.
Camarda's visit is the first of two events at NASA Langley this week highlighting NASA's recent shuttle flight and the space shuttle program. On Friday, NASA Langley will welcome Wayne Hale, space shuttle program manager.
For more information about the Space Shuttle Program and shuttle missions, visit:
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