Full video of Purdue astronaut forum available online

April 14, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seven Purdue University NASA astronaut alumni talked with passion Saturday (April 12) about the tangible and intangible benefits of human space travel and the need for a cohesive national vision for long-term space exploration.

The astronauts said the dream of space travel could inspire children to study science, technology, engineering and math. And an American plan to go resume space travel, including to Mars, will keep those students studying through college.

A full video of the forum is available on the Purdue in Space site. The video also is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFcOCL5_yhQ, and the video can be embedded using the following code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gFcOCL5_yhQ?list=UUOSY-LKMuJZn4HGsJZHfQDw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The astronauts participating in the forum were:

* Eugene Cernan, the last person to walk on the moon. He flew on a Gemini flight and two Apollo flights, including Apollo 17, the last flight to the moon.

* Loren Shriver, a veteran of three space flights with more than 386 hours in space.

* Charles Walker, the first Purdue alumnus to fly aboard a space shuttle, serving on three missions as the first industry-sponsored engineer and researcher, and becoming the first private astronaut in space.

* Gary Payton, who flew aboard Discovery as a payload specialist in 1985 in the first U.S. Department of Defense mission of the space shuttle program, traveling more than 1.2 million miles in 48 Earth orbits and logging approximately 73 hours in space. 

* Mark Brown, who flew on two space shuttle flights, including a five-day, defense-related mission in 1989 and logged more than 249 hours in space.

* Scott Tingle, a decorated Navy pilot who became an astronaut in 2012. He is the most recent Purdue alumnus selected by NASA.

* Andrew Feustel, who flew on two space shuttle missions in 2009 and 2011, conducting several spacewalks to service the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, respectively.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels moderated the forum. He is co-chair of a National Research Council committee that is reviewing and making recommendations on the future of the U.S. human spaceflight program.

Purdue has had 23 graduates become astronauts, including the late Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. Purdue graduates flew on Gemini and Apollo flights, 47 space shuttle missions and on the International Space Station. 

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

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