AUBURN – The Flying Tigers, a team of six educators from Auburn University, Auburn City Schools and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, AMSTI, will arrive at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston July 20 to participate in the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. As one of only six teams nationwide and the only team from the Southeast to participate in the program, the Flying Tigers will conduct experiments July 25-29 aboard a modified Boeing 727 aircraft known as the Weightless Wonder.
The program gives participants an opportunity to propose, build and fly a reduced gravity experiment during free falls and to gather data in a near-weightless environment. The Weightless Wonder provides weightlessness for 18 to 25 seconds at a time by executing a series of about 30 parabolas – a steep climb followed by a free fall – over the Gulf of Mexico.
AUBURN – NASA’s John Olson will be at Auburn Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. in 1103 Shelby Center to talk about the many challenges facing NASA administrators and about NASA’s vision for the future. Olson is director of the Directorate Integration Office for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C.
Olson will talk about the upcoming shuttle retirement, the transition of the International Space Station from the assembly stage to a fully operational orbiting laboratory and transition plans for the Constellation Program.
AUBURN – Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics, in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Education, has been awarded $600,000 from NASA to produce modules in the varying science focus areas of global climate change. The program, “Bringing Global Climate Change Education to Alabama Classrooms,” will partner with the Alabama Science in Motion, or ASIM, program to effectively train teachers and educate students in grades 9-12 about the changing planet.
Steve Ricks, director of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, said the partnership with Auburn University will allow Alabama’s teachers and their students to experience first-hand how scientists investigate global change. Teachers and students will gain unique insight into the science behind one of the most prevalent scientific issues of our time – the environment and its effect on our lives.
AUBURN – To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission, Auburn University will present “The Eagle has Landed at Auburn,” a free, public symposium, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 16.
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art will host lectures and book signings throughout the day. A film screening at 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Auburn University Student Center will include footage of news coverage and a documentary film.
The first moon landing mission was flown by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in July 1969. Jim Hansen, an Auburn University history professor who organized this commemorative event, said that no worldwide celebration of humankind’s greatest adventure should unfold without spotlighting the Auburn community’s direct connection to the effort. Hansen wrote “First Man,” a biography of Neil Armstrong, and is director of Auburn’s Honors College.
AUBURN – NASA will honor astronaut Thomas K. “TK” Mattingly on March 26 with the Ambassador of Exploration Award for his contributions to the U.S. space program. Mattingly, an Auburn University alumnus, will receive the award in a 1 p.m. ceremony in the Lowe Grand Foyer of Auburn’s Shelby Center for Engineering Technology.
NASA is giving this award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for helping America realize its goal of going to the moon. The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected during the six Apollo expeditions from 1969 to 1972.
AUBURN – Former astronaut and Auburn alumna Kathryn Thornton will be the first speaker for the Auburn University Graduate School’s newly established New Horizons Lecture Series.
Thornton’s lecture, “Space Flight: A Human Perspective,” will be at 4 p.m. March 30 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center and is open to the public. Later that evening she will receive the Alumna Award from the Auburn University Women’s Resource Center during its Women’s Leadership Conference.