Astronaut Bridges to speak on campus

October 17, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University alumnus and astronaut Roy D. Bridges will speak on campus Oct. 25 about his experience in the space program.

His talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 8 p.m. in the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall.

Bridges also will attend Purdue's annual Space Day on Oct. 26. He will speak at 9:30 a.m. in Elliott Hall of Music. That event also is free and open to the public.

Bridges earned a master's degree in astronautics from Purdue in 1966. He was pilot on a 1985 Space Shuttle Challenger flight and Spacelab 2 mission. He is a retired Air Force major general who held positions at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Langley Research Center.

More than 725 students in grades three to eight are registered for the 18th annual Purdue Space Day, which is filled to capacity. The participants come from 158 schools and home-school programs in five states.

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.

Grades three and four will build model spacecraft that will carry eggs dropped from a third-floor window. They also will become real rocket scientists when they deploy straw rockets, and will build and test balloon cars to introduce the concepts of basic physics.

Grades five and six will deploy balloon satellites; learn the basic principles of astronomy by observing the night sky; and learn the fundamental principles of rocket propulsion by designing, constructing and testing their own stomp rocket.

Grades seven and eight will design, build and test a high-powered water rocket; design, build and test a solar car; and with the aid of the EPICS team, build and test a trebuchet and airplane launch.

Purdue Space Day is a student organization hosted by the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. More information about Purdue Space Day is at  

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, 

Source: Megan Bergman, Purdue Space Day, 

Note to Journalists: Journalists wishing to interview Roy Bridges should contact Megan Bergman, 859-322-1995, Journalists planning on covering Space Day can get information on activity locations that day in the Armstrong Hall atrium.

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