It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Wildcat Astronaut!
Right on cue, NASA Astronaut Tom Marshburn ’82 and his International Space Station crewmates will fly over campus tonight, in a 230-mile-high orbital preview to this Friday’s live video downlink in the 900 Room.
It’s been fun and an honor to be in the middle of planning for the downlink event, which will also be live-streamed on the Internet (see below). Trivia tidbit: My newsroom office in the college’s Julia Johnston House on Main Street is directly below the room where Tom roomed as a sophomore!
You can sign up at the NASA site below for “Spot the Station” alerts. Here are the specs for tonight’s flyover:
Time: Tue Apr 09 8:37 PM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 43 degrees, Appears: W, Disappears: NE
Here are the specs for Friday’s campus event:
Davidson College will host a live NASA downlink from the International Space Station (ISS) between 3:30 p.m. and 4:35 p.m., Friday, April 12, in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room of the Alvarez College Union. Attendees will have the opportunity to question alumnus Astronaut Thomas Marshburn, M.D. ’82, about his experiences aboard the ISS, 230 miles above Earth.
The event is free and open to the public; seating is limited. Doors will close at 3:55 p.m. and the half-hour question and answer session will begin at approximately 4:05 p.m. The session will be simulcast to an overflow area outside of the 900 Room as well as online.
A physics major, Marshburn earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, master’s degrees from the University of Virginia and University of Texas Medical Branch, and a medical degree from Wake Forest University.
Previously, Marshburn served as a flight surgeon at Johnson Space Center, co-chair of medical operations for the Shuttle/Mir Space Program, NASA representative to the Harvard/MIT Smart Medical Systems Team of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and lead flight surgeon and medical operations lead for Expedition 7 to the ISS.
Marshburn completed his first space flight in July 2009 on Space Shuttle Endeavour. On Dec. 19, 2012, he launched aboard Soyuz TMA-07M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Marshburn is completing his second deployment to the ISS, serving as flight engineer for Expedition 35, and will return to Earth in May.