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Lindsay Crouch
(Phone: 757/864-3189, 757/870-6912, mobile)
NASA Brings Vision for Space Exploration to West Virginia

Astronaut Stephen Bowen and NASA Langley Research Center Deputy Director Rick Gilbrech will visit Tucker Valley Elementary/Middle School in Hambleton, W.Va., on Friday, Oct. 28, to kick off the newly established educational partnership between NASA and the school and to bring the Vision of Space Exploration to students and their families. They will also participate in a Family Night presentation on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the school at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to the Family Night event.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to visit our partner schools," said Gilbrech. "I'm looking forward to meeting the students and their families and sharing NASA's vision for exploration. Today's students are tomorrow's explorers and astronauts."

Bowen and Gilbrech will encourage students to study math and science so they can pursue careers in aeronautics and space as they discuss NASA's plans to return to the moon and go on to Mars.

Family Night activities include various informative sessions conducted by local teachers. The event is designed to bring the excitement of space exploration to all residents of Hambleton and the surrounding area.

Media interested in covering the events or arranging an interview with Bowen or Gilbrech should contact Lindsay Crouch at 757-864-3189 or 757-870-6912 (mobile) by Wednesday, Oct. 26, or by calling Marny Skora at 757-344-6111, who will be present at the event.

A commander in the United States Navy, Bowen is the first submarine officer selected by NASA to be a mission specialist. Since August 2000, he has been working at the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch at NASA's Johnson Space. He will continue these technical duties until he is assigned a space flight.

Before being named NASA Langley's deputy director, Gilbrech served as deputy director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, located at Langley. Since beginning his NASA career in 1991 at NASA Stennis Space Center, Gilbrech has had many roles in management, including experience in the areas of propulsion test technology, the X-33 program and the space shuttle program.

Tucker Valley was named one of NASA's 2005 Explorer Schools in May. The school started the program this fall and will continue the partnership for the next three years.

The NASA Explorer School (NES) program is sponsored by NASA to help educators and students join NASA's mission of discovery through educational activities and special learning opportunities tailored to promote science, mathematics and technology applications and career explorations.

Over the next three years, students in the NES program will participate in digital conferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Educators will also take the hands-on activities to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, mathematics and technology fields.

To learn more about the NES program, please visit:

For more information on research at NASA, visit:


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