Kathy Barnstorff

Megan Steele or Toni Williams
Virginia Air & Space Center
757-727-0900, ext. 730 or 705 or
RELEASE : 11-004
NASA Astronaut/Athletes/Robot to Honor Black History in Hampton
Hampton, Va. -- Astronaut and former NASA Langley Research Center engineer Leland Melvin will celebrate Black History Month at Hampton's Virginia Air & Space Center, Feb. 12, along with two other athletes, members of an historic air squadron and a robot.

Melvin, a Lynchburg native and University of Richmond graduate who started his career as a wide receiver in the National Football League, is currently NASA's Associate Administrator for Education. Joining him will be major league and Old Dominion University baseball legend and Hampton native Wayne Gomes; former York County resident and Virginia Tech and pro football player Bryan Randall; World War II pilots from the Tidewater Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen; and Sprockit the Robot.

The five-hour "Sports, Space and Sprockit" event will feature hands-on activities, including demonstrations about how science and sports intersect, as well as the chance to chat with the sports and aerospace stars.

Schedule of Activities:

10:30 to 11:15 a.m. - Sports and Space Science Demonstration
11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Meet and greet: Leland Melvin, Wayne Gomes and Bryan Randall
11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Tuskegee Airmen Presentation
1:00 to 1:45 p.m. - Sports and Space Science Demonstration
1:45 to 3:00 p.m. - Meet and greet: Leland Melvin, Wayne Gomes and Bryan Randall

IMAX performances of "Hubble 3D" – 10 a.m., 11 a.m., & 12 p.m.

Some of the activities include finding out how high you can jump on Mars, testing your knowledge of the solar system with NASA's Wheel of Fun Facts, discovering why you can't throw a curve ball on the moon, participating in helium balloon races, and making an icy comet.

Participants will also be able to meet members of local robotics teams, learn more about the first robotic member of the International Space Station crew, design a successful Mars lander, hear about NASA's visit to a comet on Feb.14, discover how the super cold world of space can affect your favorite ball game during the "Sports and Space Science Demonstration," and join astronauts on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope with the IMAX film, "Hubble 3D."

For more information about NASA's Langley Research Center, please go to:

To learn more about NASA Langley's official visitors center, the Virginia Air & Space Center, please go to:

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