Former NASA administrator and astronaut visits Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY —  Student and community audiences have separate opportunities to hear from former NASA administrator and astronaut Gen. Charles Bolden and two other astronauts with northern Michigan ties on April 3 in Traverse City, where a niche aerospace industry is gaining momentum.

Event details:

Wednesday, April 3, 10:10 a.m. Traverse City Central High School

Free to all area students, an opportunity to hear three astronauts discuss space, robotics and technology. Former NASA administrator Bolden commanded four space shuttle flight, including deploying the Hubble Space Telescope. He will be joined by former astronauts Jerry Linenger, of Suttons Bay, and Greg Johnson in a presentation on space, robotics and technology.

Linenger spent nearly five months aboard the Russian space station Mir, surviving the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft. He is the author of the bestselling book, Off the Planet, and is featured in National Geographic’s hit series One Strange Rock, now on Netflix.

Johnson, a longtime summer resident, piloted two space shuttle missions to the International Space Station. He is a former colonel and pilot of the U.S. Air Force, aerospace engineer, MBA, and fighter/test pilot. He now leads the Traverse City-based nonprofit Newton’s Road, which works to advance STEM education and local workforce opportunities.

Teachers interested in bringing students should contact John Failor, or 231/933-6592 by April 1 with an approximate number of students attending.

Wednesday, April 3, 6 p.m., Milliken Auditorium

Bolden will present “NASA’s Journey of Discovery: The Future of Space Exploration” in an International Affairs Forum lecture open to the public. Tickets are $15 and available at the door. Bolden logged  more than 680 hours in space. His missions included deploying the Hubble Space telescope, launching the first SPACELAB mission, and inaugurating the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission.

The appearances come as local economic development leaders strive to make aerospace employment a niche industry. Event sponsors include Newton’s Road, Traverse City-based Atlas Space Operations and Traverse City Space Accelerator LLC.

Release date: march 20, 2019

For more information:

Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064


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