Maryland Native, Teacher, Astronaut Highlights Day of Space Exploration
Amy Pruett
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Michael Buckley
John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

Release No.: 09-45

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GREENBELT, Md. -- Maryland native, NASA astronaut Richard Arnold Jr. will headline a day of celebration, commemoration and education for the first ever "Maryland's Place in Space" at the Baltimore Convention Center, Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md. are hosting this unprecedented showcase of more than 100 space science exhibits, mind-blowing multimedia presentations, robotics competitions, and several opportunities to see and hear from NASA astronauts and much more.

A Bowie High School graduate and former teacher at John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf, Md., Arnold is one of three astronauts appearing during the day. “My experience at NASA has been an amazing adventure,” says Arnold. “I am looking forward to sharing this experience with my friends and family back home in Maryland.”

Veteran shuttle astronaut and adjunct professor at Towson University Dr. Donald Thomas will appear to recall his space flight adventures. Making an appearance and signing autographs is 2008 Astronaut Hall of Fame inductee Loren Shriver. Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, a World War II fighter plane escort unit, will also present to kids of all ages their amazing story of courage and accomplishment.

Highlighted activities at Maryland’s Place in Space include a special appearance by Sid the Science Kid (Maryland Public Television / PBSKids); make your own wing ring glider with NASA Astronauts; a special interactive presentation by Wall*E; a performance and demonstration by Stormin' Bob Swanson, "The Singing Weatherman"; and an informative Science Café with scientists and engineers.

Throughout the 20,000 square feet of space of the Baltimore Convention Center, there will be more than 100 exhibits and activities. The exhibits will be organized into interactive, informative themes or "pods."
  • The exploration pod will inspire all ages with space exploration and science activities. Critical missions in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary exploration and astrophysics will be featured.
  • The technology pod will introduce Maryland’s top engineers and highlight the latest technologies related to science and research discoveries.
  • The green pod will inspire discovery of Earth Science research and Maryland’s contributions to better understanding our changing planet.
  • The people pod will highlight Maryland’s extraordinary jobs in science and technology.
In addition to exhibits, attendees will engage in stimulating presentations by some of Maryland’s top contributors to science and technology locally, nationally and globally.

Maryland’s Place in Space will reveal the tremendous impact and leadership that organizations such as NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Space Telescope Science Institute, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the University of Maryland, as well as their industry partners, have in the aerospace industry.

Maryland’s Place in Space is sponsored in part by the Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK); Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Orbital Sciences Corporation; Science Applications International Corporation; Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies; United Space Alliance (USA); Universities Space Research Association; and is made possible by a partnership with the American Astronautical Society and APL.

Media interested in attending Maryland's Place in Space should contact Amy Pruett at 301-286-7646 or Media interest for astronaut interviews can contact Dewayne Washington at 301-286-0040 or

For a schedule of events, click here.