HAMPTON, Va. -- Virginia is for astronaut lovers as NASA Langley Research Center welcomes one of its own.
Astronaut Leland Melvin is back on Earth and home in Virginia to visit NASA Langley on Thursday, May 1. The Lynchburg, Va., native and former NASA Langley chemist was a mission specialist on the crew of space shuttle mission STS-122.
Melvin completed a 13-day journey of nearly 5.3 million miles in space this past February on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. The STS-122 mission expanded the size and research capabilities of the International Space Station with the delivery of the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory. A 1986 University of Richmond graduate and Detroit Lions NFL draftee, Melvin was one of the operators of the station's robotic arm that helped install the module.
Accompanying Melvin to NASA Langley will be Navy Cmdr. Stephen Frick who commanded the STS-122 shuttle mission and fellow mission specialist Air Force Col. Rex Walheim.
Media who wish to interview Melvin, Frick and Walheim at a news briefing at 1 p.m. Thursday should contact Chris Rink at 864-6786 or 344-7711 (mobile) by noon for credentials and entry to the Center.
Melvin began working in the Fiber Optic Sensors group of the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch at NASA Langley in 1989. Selected by NASA's astronaut program in June 1998, Melvin reported for training in August 1998. This was Melvin's first spaceflight.
For more information about STS-122 and other shuttle missions, visit:
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