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Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston
RELEASE : JA05-004
Space Station Astronaut and Emsworth Native Returns Home
After only a few months back on Earth, NASA Astronaut Michael Fincke will return to his Pennsylvania hometown Feb. 12 for a weeklong visit with family and friends and a series of public appearances.

Fincke returned to Earth on Oct. 23 after spending 187 days, 21 hours and 17 minutes in space and traveling more than 78 million miles aboard the International Space Station. Born in Pittsburgh, Fincke considers Emsworth, where his parents Edward and Alma reside, his hometown. Fincke is a graduate of Sewickley Academy in neighboring Sewickley, Pa. While on board the International Space Station, Fincke looked out over his home state and took a number of spectacular photos of Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh area.

"There was a certain kind of comfort I found in being able to look out the window of the Space Station and see my hometown and the great state of Pennsylvania from space," said Fincke. "Though I loved my time on Station and being in space, part of me just couldn’t wait to get home and share my experiences with my family and friends." During Fincke's recent flight, his first spaceflight, he served as the NASA International Space Station Science Officer. Fincke completed 100 percent of the U.S. research agenda including 24 experiments. In total, the crew carried out four spacewalks and Fincke accumulated 15 hours, 45 minutes and 22 seconds in spacewalking time. While home, Fincke will be making the following appearances:

Wednesday, Feb. 16 -- Sewickley Academy Visit
Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15143
Contact: Kolia O'Connor, Head of School
Phone: 412-741-2230
10 a.m. -- 11 a.m.: Assembly with Senior School Students, Rea Auditorium
11 a.m. -- Noon: Campus Tour
Noon -- 12:45 p.m.: Lunch with Student Representatives and Head of School
1 p.m. -- 2 p.m.: Assembly with Lower School Students, Rea Auditorium
2:20 p.m. -- 3:15 p.m.: Assembly with Middle School Students, Rea Auditorium
3:15 p.m. -- 4 p.m.: Meet with Faculty, Gregg Theater
7 p.m. -- 8:30 p.m.: Public Presentation, Rea Auditorium

Thursday, Feb. 17 -- Avonworth Schools Visits
8:45 a.m. -- 9:20 a.m.: Presentation to Avonworth Elementary School Students (K-2)

Avonworth Elementary School
1324 Roosevelt Road Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Contact: Regis Mullen
Phone: 412-366-7170
9:30 a.m. -- 10:40 a.m.: Presentation to Avonworth High School Students (9-12)

Avonworth High School
304 Josephs Lane Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Contact: Margaret A. Boden
Phone: 412-366-6360
12:45 p.m. -- 1:45 p.m.: Presentation to Avonworth Middle School Students (6-8)

Avonworth Middle School
256 Josephs Lane Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Contact: Robert Susini
Phone: 412-366-9650
2 p.m. -- 3 p.m.: Presentation to Avonworth Middle School Students (K, 3-5)

Avonworth Elementary School
1324 Roosevelt Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Contact: Regis Mullen Phone: 412-366-7170
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Public Presentation – Avonworth High School

For more information about Astronaut Fincke or these appearances, contact:

Sewickley Academy Sharon Hurt Davidson, Dir. Communications 412-741-2230, Ext. 3042
Avonworth Schools Tracy Ferguson, Ben Avon Area Historical Assoc. 412-734-3926

Fincke is available for print, broadcast and electronic media interviews. To arrange a media interview, contact Ellen Gillis, Astronaut Appearances Office, at 281-244-8116 or 281-799-9583 (cell).

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