Space is closer than you think – and an astronaut who spent almost six months on board the International Space Station will share how in a presentation at Pellissippi State Community College next month.
Astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei, who most recently served as flight engineer on the International Space Station, will detail how “Space is Closer Than You Think” in this free event at 12:25 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
Vande Hei’s presentation, which is open to the public, serves as a fitting bookend to the 2018-19 academic year at Pellissippi State, which kicked off with Convocation speaker Johnny F. Stephenson Jr., director of the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Vande Hei’s visit also caps Pellissippi State’s two-year Common Academic Experience theme of “Inner Space | Outer Space,” which was inspired by the total solar eclipse in August 2017. The Common Academic Experience has championed campus discussions of issues, both in and out of class, around this theme.
“Our students have really enjoyed experiencing the personal stories of down-to-earth people who have made stellar achievements,” said Pellissippi State librarian Will Buck, who co-chairs the Common Academic Experience with librarian Allison Scripa. “By relating these experiences to their own personal stories, Pellissippi State students have made connections – not just to their lives right now, but to their future place in this world and perhaps beyond.”
Vande Hei is a former combat engineer in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq and later worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Vande Hei was selected by NASA in 2009 as one of nine members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. He most recently served as flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expeditions 53/54, Sept. 13, 2017-Feb. 28, 2018. Vande Hei logged 168 days in space on this mission, venturing outside the space station for four spacewalks to perform work that included replacing and lubricating the Latching End Effectors on both ends of the Canadarm2. The total duration of his spacewalks was 26 hours 42 minutes.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.