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Kimberly W. Land
(Phone: 757/864-9885, 757/344-8611 mobile)
k.w.land@larc.nasa.gov

RELEASE NO. 03-035
 


May 28, 2003

ASTRONAUT TO SPEAK AT HOMETOWN SCHOOL

Leland Melvin portraitAstronaut and former NASA Langley Research Center employee Leland Melvin is going back home to Lynchburg, Va., to speak to students at Perrymont Elementary School. As part of NASA's mission to inspire the next generation of explorers, Melvin is visiting the students of his former elementary school to encourage them to be successful in taking Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and share his experiences as an astronaut.

Media Opportunity:  Media are invited to attend the talk by Astronaut Melvin at 2:15 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Perrymont Elementary School, 409 Perrymont Avenue, Lynchburg, Va. Please contact Kimberly Land at (757) 864-9885 or 344-8611 (mobile) for details.

Melvin will talk to students, pre-school to fifth grade, about the importance of working hard when pursuing life-long goals. "It's imperative that we not only support a local hero, but also expose students to a former Perrymont graduate who has made a significant difference in the lives of others," says Jason Mack, assistant principal at Perrymont elementary school.

During a two-day visit in the Hill City, Melvin will be formally inducted into the Lynchburg Area Sports Hall of Fame and recognized at a dinner banquet at the Oakwood Country Club, hosted by the Lynchburg Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In 1989, Melvin began working in the Fiber Optic Sensors group at NASA Langley Research Center. He researched physical measurements for the development of advanced instrumentation for nondestructive evaluation (NDE). He also used optical fiber sensors to measure strain, temperature, and chemical damage in composite and metallic structures.

In June 1998, Melvin was selected by NASA for the astronaut corps and he reported for training in August of that year. Initially assigned to the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch, Melvin now works in the Education Department at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  He still serves in technical tasks, awaiting his assigned space flight mission.

His awards and accomplishments include eight NASA Outstanding Performance Awards, two NASA Superior Accomplishment Awards, NCAA Division I Academic All American, University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee and recipient of the Key to the City of Lynchburg, Va.

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