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Newsroom

All of the latest Astronaut Scholarship Foundation news is listed below. You can also click here to browse all of our press releases. To view all of our Scholar Spotlight features, click here.

Astrogram Now Available Online

January 24, 2014 – ASF’s Astrogram newsletter is now available electronically! Stay on top of the goings-on at ASF by downloading our bi-annual magazine dedicated to reporting the latest on news, events, scholars, and more! Click here to view the available Astrograms.

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2013 Astronaut Check Presentation Travel Schedule

Hall of Fame astronauts are headed to colleges and universities near you! While there, they will present this year’s Astronaut Scholars with their awards and give a free public lecture about their time in space. Check out this schedule and come out to cheer on our newest class of scholars! School City, State Visit Date Miami University Oxford, OH Aug. 28, 2013 University of Texas Austin, TX Sept. 13, 2013 Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA Oct. 2, 2013 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Oct. 3, 2013 Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA Oct. 9, 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, …

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Skylab Anniversary Dinner To Benefit ASF

The Skylab 40th Anniversary Celebration, a dinner and panel discussion to benefit the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), will be held at Kennedy Space Center’s Apollo/Saturn V Center on Sat. July 27 at 7 p.m. Eight Skylab astronauts are slated to attend the dinner and participate in a panel discussion about living and conducting groundbreaking scientific experiments aboard the world’s first space station. They are: Alan Bean, Commander, Skylab 3 Gerald Carr, Commander, Skylab 4 Owen Garriott, Science Pilot, Skylab 3 Ed Gibson, Science Pilot, Skylab 4 Joseph Kerwin, Science Pilot, Skylab 2 Jack Lousma, Pilot, Skylab 3 Bill Pogue, Pilot, …

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ASF Announces Board Changes

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) announced the election of space shuttle astronaut Dan Brandenstein as chairman of its board of directors and Orlando business owner Lisa Schott as vice chairman, a development that marks two firsts for the nonprofit: Brandenstein as the first shuttle-era astronaut to become chair, and Schott as the first non-astronaut to assume a leadership role on the board. Newly elected members of ASF’s board of directors include space shuttle astronaut Richard Covey and Joseph Han, a principal scientist working at an energy storage start-up in San Jose. Both Schott and Han are Astronaut Scholars. Schott was …

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Skylab 40th Anniversary Celebration

40 Years Later, Skylab Crews Reminisce Together Skylab and SMEAT Crewmembers Talk Adventures Onboard The Skylab program saw its 40th anniversary this year. Skylab, the United States’ first space station, launched atop a modified Saturn V rocket on May 14, 1973. Three crews of three astronauts each spent increasingly longer periods of time in space, consecutively breaking new time records that were held until the Mir program. All together, Skylab 2 astronauts Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz, and Joe Kerwin; Skylab 3 astronauts Alan Bean, Jack Lousma, and Owen Garriott; and Skylab 4 astronauts Jerry Carr, Bill Pogue, and Ed Gibson …

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2013 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Gala Scholar Keynote

Astronaut Scholar Daniel Araya speaks during 2013 AHOF Gala

During the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Gala festivities on April 19, 2013, Daniel Araya, a 2007-2008 Astronaut Scholar, took the stage to share his thoughts and his story with the more than 450 guests in attendance. The following is Daniel’s address, in full: I feel very privileged to be here tonight. I have such tremendous respect for the collective achievements of the people in this room. So I’m very grateful for this opportunity to share with you my story and hopefully convince you that your money was well spent. I received the Astronaut Scholarship five years ago while …

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Scholar Spotlight: Christine Morrison

Astronaut Scholar Christine Morrison

Astronaut Scholar Christine Morrison received the Astronaut Scholarship award just before her senior year at the University of Michigan. She graduated in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with highest honors. After graduating, Morrison was met with almost immediate additional success. First, she published a section of her undergraduate thesis in an academic journal. Then, she embarked on a year-long research program at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. Morrison spent her Fulbright year doing chemistry research full-time. As a result, she went on to write and publish two original academic papers and …

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Scholar Spotlight: Derek Lang

Derek Lang, 1996-1997 Astronaut Scholar, continues to work as a consultant with the Stramler Group.  Lang graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in aerospace engineering. His latest project was helping to build and test the Echostar-16 communications satellite, which will broadcast satellite-to-home programming for DISH Network.  The next step is to take the spacecraft out to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan where it will be launched on a Russian Proton M/Breeze M rocket. Making use of the PhD that ASF supported him through, Derek got his feet wet teaching an undergraduate class on Aerospace Flight Mechanics at …

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Scholar Spotlight: Joy Buolamwini

Astronaut Scholar Joy Buolamwini received the Astronaut Scholarship award while earning her bachelor’s degree in computer science at Georgia Institute of Technology. Since becoming an Astronaut Scholar, she worked with Yahoo, and alongside Google to develop mobile applications to record personal health information and increase responsiveness to warning signs of illnesses. After receiving her first award, Buolamwini became a Carter Center technical consultant to aide in the eradication of trachoma, an infectious disease that leads to blindness and affects 80 million people worldwide. She also represented the United States in a global student innovation competition in Hong Kong, and worked …

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Scholar Spotlight: Ryan East

Astronaut Scholar Ryan East received the Astronaut Scholarship award while earning his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Oklahoma from 2006-2008. He then went on to earn a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas. Today, East is living his dream working in Mission Control at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX as a Trajectory Analyst for the International Space Station (ISS) and is training to become a Trajectory Operations Officer. His job involves knowing where the ISS is located in orbit, where it will be in future, and defending …

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Scholar Spotlight: Patrick Biltgen

Astronaut Scholar Patrick Biltgen received the Astronaut Scholarship award while earning his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology from 2001-2003. He continued at Georgia Tech obtaining a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. Today, Biltgen serves as a Senior Architect at BAE Systems in Reston, VA. His work concentrates on developing supreme programs which provide high-tech intelligence support to the US military by interacting with government sponsors and offering advanced IT solutions that address important mission needs. Biltgen’s new approach has been recognized as revolutionary by senior leadership at BAE, and was recently saluted with …

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Scholar Spotlight: Joseph Han

Astronaut Scholar Joseph Han (Texas A&M University 1999-2000) is enabling research in simulation and modeling through high-performance computing (HPC) – combining the power of hundreds, even thousands of regular computers to solve previously intractable problems. At Penguin Computing, Han guides the company into areas where technology and science intersect to provide the greatest impact. This work is a continuation of previous research where Han used Beowulf clusters to perform ab initio quantum chemical simulations of industrial processes such as thermal chlorination for Dow Chemical, heterogeneous catalysis for stereo-specific polymerization, and Atomic Layer Deposition for semiconductor process manufacturing at Intel. Recent …

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Scholar Spotlight: Belinda Shreckengost

Astronaut Scholar Belinda Shreckengost (Harvey Mudd College 1999 – 2000) is putting her love of space exploration to the test in the name of planet Earth. The Harvey Mudd alumnus is working as a Thermal Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree in Astronautics at the University of Southern California. Through her work, Shreckengost hopes to help society gain a better understanding of Earth in order to take care of our environment. Shreckengost recently concluded thermal vacuum testing to qualify hardware for flight on a project called Juno, which will launch in 2011 to study …

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Scholar Spotlight: Joel Odom

Astronaut Scholar Joel Odom (GA Tech 1996 – 1997) is mapping out a successful future in software research. The Georgia Tech alumnus is serving his sixth year as a faculty member at his alma mater and simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree in Information Security. His goal: to create a digital model of the world for the U.S. military to use in defense mission planning. Odom has led several research efforts on FalconView, the computer-based mapping application initially developed by Georgia Tech in 1990 and used today by the U.S. Department of Defense. It analyzes and displays geographical figures which are …

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Astronaut Robert Crippen Private Signing

Hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Be one of the fortunate few to add the autograph of NASA’s first Space Shuttle Pilot to your collection! The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), a non-profit organization, is rolling out the red carpet for the private signing of four-time spaceflight veteran, shuttle astronaut, Robert L. Crippen. The signing will be held in late October with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the ASF. Space enthusiasts have until October 19, 2009 to send in artifacts, baseballs, covers, flown items, models, and photos — nearly anything you desire — to be autographed by this space hero. All …

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Scholar Spotlight: Daniel Araya

Studying rocket science isn’t the only thing that concerns 2007-2008 Astronaut Scholar Daniel Araya; he is strongly dedicated to sharing the power of knowledge with younger generations. Juggling graduate school, space propulsion research, and his volunteer work teaching underprivileged children in Africa, the Texas A&M University student has quite a bit on his plate. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in December of 2008, Araya, having lived in Texas all his life, decided it was time to venture out across the globe to experience the “real world.” Destination: a small village just outside of Arusha, Tanzania. Spending four …

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