Astronaut David Wolf to be on campus

October 18, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University alumnus David Wolf will speak on campus Oct. 29 about his experiences as an astronaut.

David Wolf

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Wolf's talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. He also will be on campus Oct. 30 to participate in Purdue's annual Space Day.

Wolf served as chief of the Astronaut Office Extravehicular Activity for most of the Space Station assembly.  He led a team that was responsible for space walks from the International Space Station and space shuttles.

He has logged 168 days, 12 hours, 56 minutes in space over four separate missions.  The longest was 128 days aboard the Russian Mir space station.  He also has made seven space walks for a total 47 hours.

Wolf’s most recent mission, on the Space Shuttle Endeavor, launched July 15, 2009.

A native of Indianapolis, Wolf earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Purdue in 1978. He also has a medical degree from Indiana University.

More than 600 students in grades three to eight are registered for the 15th annual Purdue Space Day, which is filled to capacity. The participants come from 140 schools and home school programs in three states.

Wolf will address the students at the start of Space Day and will participate in activities throughout the day.

Space Day provides students the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and math by participating in three age-appropriate activity sessions throughout the day.

Students in grades three and four will build telescopes, make model spacecraft that will carry eggs dropped from a third-floor window, and build and test straw rockets.

Students in grades five and six will deploy balloon satellites; study the solar system with a Star Lab; and design, build and test water bottle rockets.

Students in grades seven and eight will design, build and test a high-powered paper rocket; study the challenges faced by the crew of Apollo 13; and build and test solar cars. 

Wolf is being brought to campus by the College of Engineering and the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Purdue Space Day is a student organization that runs the event.

More information about Purdue Space Day is online at  

Media contact: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,  

Sources:   Jeremy Lakoskey, Purdue Space Day, 708-408-6108,

                   Ann Broughton, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 765-494-5147,

Note to Journalists: Journalists wishing to interview David Wolf should contact Jeremy Lakoskey, 708-408-6108, Journalists planning on covering Space Day on Oct. 30 can get information on activity locations that day in the Armstrong Hall atrium.