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Robert D. Allen
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(757) 864-6176

Megan S. Clark
Virginia Air & Space Center, Hampton, Va.
(757) 727-0900, x730

RELEASE NO: 99-071

For Release: 09.28.99

Former Langley Researcher Turned Astronaut
Leland Melvin Visits Hampton Roads, Va. State Fair, Oct. 1 & 2

Leland Melvin, one of NASA's newest astronauts and a former employee of the NASA Langley Research Center, is coming home to talk to students and former coworkers on Friday, Oct. 1. He'll also meet the public at the Virginia State Fair on Saturday, Oct. 2.

+ Read Leland's Bio
+ Leland Melvin: Astronaut by Chemistry

On Oct. 1, Melvin will talk to students from Virginia and North Carolina at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton, Va., and talk about his experiences as an astronaut with employees and contractors at the NASA Langley Research Center. On Saturday, Oct. 2, he will greet people at the Virginia State Fair from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. in Richmond, Va.

At the Virginia Air & Space Center (VASC) - Hampton, Va., Friday, Oct. 1:

Astronaut Leland Melvin at the Virginia Air & Space Center

Nearly 400 elementary and middle school students will participate in a hands-on science demonstration exploring the construction of the International Space Station presented by Melvin and a VASC educator at the VASC from 10 to 11:45 a.m.

Image to right: Leland Melvin at the Virginia Air & Space Center. Credit: NASA/Jeff Caplan

Students from the following schools will be in the audience: Calvary Covenant, Hampton, Va.; Carrsville Elementary, Carrsville, Va.; Central Baptist Academy, Hallwood, Va.; Windsor Elementary, Windsor, Va.; and Elizabeth City Middle School, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Melvin will lunch with 20 At-Risk students in the VASC library from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

An interview opportunity is reserved for news media from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Megan Clark, VASC, at (757) 727-0900, x730.

At the NASA Langley Research Center - Hampton, Va., Friday, Oct. 1:

At 2 p.m., Melvin will describe his experiences from astronaut training and talk about the International Space Station in a multimedia presentation before an audience of NASA and contract employees. The presentation will occur in Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center and last about one hour.

Melvin will be available for interviews in the auditorium following the presentation. Contact Bob Allen at (757) 864-6176 for information.

At the Virginia State Fair - Richmond, Va., Saturday, Oct. 2:

On Oct. 2, Melvin will meet the public from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. at the State Fair of Virginia. Melvin will staff Langley's International Space Station booth in the Commonwealth Technology Center, near the main gate.

From 12 to 2 p.m., Melvin will picnic with eight Virginia high school students who will travel to Korolev, Russia, from Oct. 12 to 24 to participate in the International Space Olympics. These students will compete by making oral presentations and participating in selected tests in physics, mathematics, and/or computer science.

News media are invited to interview Leland Melvin from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. Contact Bob Allen at (757) 864-6176 for more information or to schedule an interview.

More About Leland Melvin:

Leland Melvin

Melvin was employed at NASA Langley from 1989 to 1998. Until his selection as an astronaut candidate, Melvin He worked in Langley's Non-Destructive Evaluation Sciences Branch at the time he was selected as an astronaut candidate. He Melvin helped develop fiber optic sensors designed to check for hydrogen leaks in NASA's space shuttle and X-33 vehicles.

Image to left: Leland Melvin at NASA Langley, following his selection as an Astronaut Candidate. Credit: NASA/Jeff Caplan

Melvin was born in Lynchburg, Va. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Richmond and a master's degree in materials science from the University of Virginia.

During his undergraduate years, Melvin was a standout receiver for the University of Richmond football team. He was chosen by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round of the 1986 National Football League college draft and participated in training camps held by the Dallas Cowboys and the Toronto Argonauts before returning his attention to scientific pursuits.

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